AFP, PNP hunt BIFF suspected of New Year bombings in Maguindanao

Soldiers on guard in Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao. (Reuters file)

SHARIFF AGUAK, Maguindanao — Joint police and military forces are hunting down gunmen of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters suspected of setting off two separate roadside bombs that left a police officer dead and seven other state security personnel wounded over the New Year’s.

The first bomb, which was detonated at 8 p.m. on December 31, killed Shariff Aguak police officer Max Kaibat, who died while undergoing surgery at the Maguindanao Provincial Hospital, just meters away from the blast site.

Police Officer 3 Jalison Abdullah, PO1s Archie Ansare Amelista, Ricardo Almonia, Alimodin Nuphay and Zainoden Abdullah, all of the town police force, were injured.

The Shariff Aguak policemen were patrolling the town when they their vehicle was hit by the explosion, Senior Superintendent Agustin Tello, Maguindanao police director, said in a report.

At 7 a.m. on New Year’s Day, the second bomb was detonated in Barangay Limpongo, Datu Hofer town as an Army truck was passing by.

Shrapnel wounded Privates First Class Nelmar Acaso and John Mark Roquero of the 57th Infantry Battalion.

Authorities believe the twin bombings were carried out by the BIFF, which has been the target of government offensives since Christmas Day.