Soldiers apprehended seven members of the outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and confiscated several high-powered firearms from them, during an operation in Datu Hoffer Ampatuan, Maguindanao, the military reported.
The operation came amid hened security in the central area of Maguindanao following last week’s attack by BIFF members in Datu Piang, just three towns away from Datu Hoffer.
Members of the Army’s 40th Infantry Battalion were conducting combat clearing operations around 12:15 p.m. Tuesday, when they intercepted the seven in Sitio Barugot, Brgy. Mother Tuayan, according to a report from the Armed Forces’ Western Mindanao Command.
When accosted, the seven introduced themselves as members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front-Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces’ 105th Base Command, but failed to show any proof.
“They failed to show identifying documents, prompting the troops to apprehend them and confiscate their firearms and other war materials,” said Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan Jr., Wesmincom chief.
Items seized from the militants include two M1 Garand rifles, an M14 rifle, and an M4 rifle.
The confiscated items have been brought to the 6th Infantry Division’s tactical command post at the Old Provincial Capitol in Shariff Aguak, while the arrested persons were turned over to the police.
Security has been hened in central Maguindanao following the December 3 attack by BIFF members in Datu Piang.
Two days before the Datu Piang incident, the 40th IB clashed with BIFF members in General Salipada K. Pendatun town.
The militants are believed to have suffered casualties in the skirmish, as troops recovered nine high-powered guns, a grenade launcher, explosives, and over 100 rounds of ammunition from their position.
According to military reports, those BIFF members have links with people involved in illegal drug trade, like those who attacked Datu Piang.
Col. Ferdinand Lacadin, officer-in-charge of the 1st Mechanized Infantry Brigade, directed the 40th IB and 1st Mechanized Battalion to continuously conduct combat clearing operations to “possibly neutralize more BIFF militants.”
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