MILF loses 5 men in clash with BIFF – police

August 19, 2017 - 7:22 AM
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MILF fighters (Reuters file)

COTABATO CITY, Philippines — The Moro Islamic Liberation Front lost five fighters when it clashed anew with gunmen of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters in Maguindanao province on Friday, police said.

Four other MILF fighters and a 13-year old civilian were wounded by what authorities said were stray bullets during the fighting that broke out around 5 a.m. in Datu Salibo town.

Senior Superintendent Agustin Tello, Maguindanao police director, said a gun battle erupted when fighters of the MILF’s Task Force Ittihad (Unity) chanced on BIFF members planting improvised explosive device in Sitio Digadeng, Barangay Tee.

The slain MILF fighters were identified as Mahmod Laguiab, Darigs Kendag, Kuzak Ali, Anwar Maulana and Kalidin Ulama. Wounded were Batinti Sabidra, Kunyang Guiama, Nasir Talib and Jery Buka.

Fighting between the two groups first broke out two weeks ago after gunmen from a BIFF faction reported to have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State set off a bomb in Barangay Tee that wounded 10 MILF fighters.

Since then, there have been sporadic clashes between the two armed groups. Thus far, 10 MILF and 20 BIFF fighters are known to have been killed.