COTABATO CITY – Jihadists attacked a military post sparking a firefight that left 4 people dead on both sides in the troubled province of Maguindanao in southern Philippines, the army said Monday.
It said weekend attack occurred in Tukanalipao in Mamasapano town where Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) opened fire on a detachment that killed the soldier, who was a member of the 40th Infantry Battalion.
Three of the raiders were also killed, according to Captain Arvin Encinas, a spokesman for the 6th Infantry Division, but he did not say whether soldiers recovered the bodies of the slain jihadists or not.
The fighting lasted over 45 minutes, Encinas said, adding, troops also recovered four .45-automatic caliber pistol, one 9mm pistol and improvised explosives, including ammunition.
“The troops fought back with mortar and artillery fires support that lasted for 45 minutes,” he said.
The town is a known lair of the BIFF and Moro Islamic Liberation Front rebels. Both groups were also behind the January 2015 brutal killings of 44 police commandos in the village of Tukanalipao.
The commandos, members of the Special Action Force, were in a secret mission deep inside MILF territory to arrest a Malaysian bomber, Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan, who was eventually killed by the raiders. But MILF gunmen and BIFF – alerted by the clandestine mission approved by President Benigno Aquino – caught up with the commandos and engaged them in a daylong battle until all the members of the Special Action Force were brutally killed and stripped of their weapons and uniform. (Mindanao Examiner)
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