3 killed, 10 hurt as BIFF bandits attack soldiers PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 22 July 2014 14:07

Three bandits were killed while ten villagers were wounded when members of the  Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters simultaneously attacked before dawn Monday military positions at the border of Maguindanao’s Datu Piang and Shariff Saidona towns.

Col. Dickson Hermoso, spokesman of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, said the hostilities erupted when BIFF bandits surrounded military detachments in Barangays Damablas and Ganta and opened fire with assault rifles and anti-tank rockets.

Two BIFF bandits were killed in the initial encounter. A wounded gunman later died while being evacuated by companions to the border of Shariff Saidona and Mamasapano municipality, also in Maguindanao.

Ten villagers have also been wounded when another group of bandits opened fire on houses near the detachments as their companions tried to breach through the fences encircling the positions of the soldiers.

The Humanitarian Emergency Assistance and Relief Team (HEART) of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao has dispatched relief workers to the three towns to assess the extent of evacuations and to provide dislocated villagers with food rations.

Soldiers had prevented the BIFF gunmen from closing in using rifles and shoulder-fire 40 MM grenades, forcing them to retreat carrying six wounded companions.

The attack on Barangays Ganta and Damabalas was the BIFF’s second in just one week. Bandits had earlier burned some P30 million-worth of farm machinery in a multinational banana plantation in Tulunan, North Cotabato. A bandit was killed while four others were wounded when company guards engaged them in a running firefight.

Hermoso said BIFF bandits had also planted on Sunday a roadside bomb near an Army detachment along a highway in Lower Salbu in Datu Saudi town in Maguindanao.

The explosive, rigged with a blasting mechanism attached to a mobile phone, was found by passersby.

Responding Army bomb experts to managed to promptly deactivate its triggering device using a calibrated liquid demolition explosive.