Philippine troops capture breakaway fighter camp in south

Main base overtaken in 5-hour firefight following killing of soldier in weekend attack.

Philippine troops capture breakaway fighter camp in south
World Bulletin / News Desk
 
 Philippine government troops have captured a camp belonging to a splinter group of the country's one-time largest Muslim rebel organization in southern Maguindanao province.

Army spokesperson Capt. Joann Petinglay said in a statement Tuesday that a five-hour offensive starting at 06.50 a.m. Monday led to the overrunning of the base of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), whose weekend attack killed one soldier.

"The camp can house up to a thousand fighters and is equipped with a training facility," Petinglay said, explaining that no casualties were reported on the government side during the mortar shelling and ground assaults.

On Saturday, a soldier was killed and three others wounded when the BIFF launched attacks on two army detachments in Maguindanao’s General Salipada K. Pendatun and Sultan Kudarat province’s President Quirino, adjacent towns in restive Mindanao island.

Lt. Colonel Markton Abu, commander of the 33rd Infantry Battalion, said in a statement that the BIFF rebels dispersed into smaller groups as they fled toward the marshland in Salipada Pendatun town as howitzers were fired.

The BIFF broke off from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in 2011 and opposes the peace deal signed between the Front and the government last year. Its campaign of bombings and attacks on government forces is aimed at achieving an independent Islamic state in Mindanao.

 

Last Mod: 06 Ocak 2015, 13:44
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