11 more BIFF men yield to military

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The group belonged to a BIFF faction led by Kagui Karialan who is wanted for more than 30 criminal cases pending in different courts, including deadly bomb attacks in central Mindanao in recent years.

MAGUINDANAO, PHILIPPINES

Eleven more members of the outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) surrendered and pledged allegiance to the government Tuesday.

The group belonged to a BIFF faction led by Kagui Karialan who is wanted for more than 30 criminal cases pending in different courts, including deadly bomb attacks in central Mindanao in recent years.

Major Gen. Juvymax Uy, commander of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, said the 11 BIFF members renounced their membership with the group through the efforts of the 6th and 33rd Infantry Battalions and the 1st Mechanized Brigade.

The group turned in six firearms and a launcher for B40 anti-tank rockets during a simple surrender rite at the headquarters of the 1st Mechanized Brigade in Barangay Kamasi in Ampatuan, Maguindanao.

Uy said the 11 former BIFF members, whose names he declined to reveal pending their relocation to safe areas, shall be reintroduced to mainstream society by the 6th ID and the Bangsamoro government.

“We are thankful to the municipal officials who helped convince them to return to the fold of law,” Uy said.

The BIFF has a reputation for harassing members who have availed of 6th ID’s local reconciliation program for religious extremists.

More than a hundred members of the BIFF, which uses the flag of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria as its banner, have surrendered to units of the 6th ID since January. (John Felix Unson)

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