The online news portal of TV5
MANILA, Philippines - Elite troopers seized another camp of the rebel Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Movement (BIFM) in Datu Hoffer, Maguindanao on Saturday, the Philippine Army announced.
Lt. Col. Ignatius Patrimonio, commander of the 2nd Scout Ranger Battalion, said the captured rebel camp was located in the southern part of Camp Omar complex, a known camp of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
Patrimonio said the camp was seized 6:30 a.m. Saturday. It could accommodate 100 people and has 10 bunkers with overhead protection.
"Several war materials and personal belongings were left behind by the rebels who hastily fled with numerous casualties when the artillery bombardments began," said Patrimonio.
The remnants of the BIFM, which broke away from the MILF, have reportedly splintered into smaller groups to evade Army pursuit operations.
More soldiers are deployed in strategic locations to thwart any attempts by the BIFM to conduct attacks.
The presence of the Scout Rangers in the area is a big boost to the capabilities of the Army in building a credible deterrence against the bandit group formed by former MILF leader Ustadz Ameril Umbra Kato.
The 2nd Scout Ranger Battalion used to serve in the provinces of Maguindanao and Cotabato from 1997 to 2000, after which it was brought to Sulu province during the Sipadan hostage-taking incident.