MAGUINDANAO – Four terrorist group members were killed in the continuing artillery attacks and bombardments made by government forces in the borders of North Cotabato and the province of Maguindanao.
Quoting reports from the military, it was learned that the four slain terrorists were followers of the most wanted leader Abdulmalik Esmael alias Abu Toraife of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF). The military has yet to identify the slain rebels at press time.
6th Infantry Division’s Lt. Col. John Paul Baldomar confirmed Saturday that the artillery attacks were “surgical in nature and preemptive.”
Baldomar added “This is to prevent a similar incident last month in Barangay Kitango, Datu Saudi Ampatuan town where a big group of Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters has converged and launched attacks against non-combatants.”
The military official said the main targets of the artillery offensives were the remotest areas in Shariff Saydona Mustapha in Maguindanao, particularly near the marsland which borders North Cotabato, as intel reports received there were about 100 BIFF rebels reported massing last Friday (April 23)
“The locals pinpointed to soldiers where the slain terrorists were buried in Shariff Saydona municipality,” Baldomar said, adding that they also received reports that Abdulmalik Esmael alias Abu Toraife was wounded.
He also said the army offensives in said areas were duly coordinated with local officials so that people in nearby areas would be informed in advance and they take shelter to safer grounds.
Local officials reported to the military that two of the slain rebels were immediately buried by their comrades. – with PNA reports