Army artillery strike kills two followers of BIFF leaderApril 24, 2021
MAGUINDANAO – An Army artillery bombardment have killed two followers of wanted terrorist Abu Toraife before dawn Friday.
The bombardment had targetted the secluded areas in Shariff Saidona Mustapha, Maguindanao. Sources said members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) converged Thursday in the area, apparently preparing for an attack.
Community elders told reporters at noontime Friday the two followers of BIFF leader Abu Toraife, Salem Ansao and Mudin Ramla, were killed when a 105 Howitzer cannon projectile landed near them and exploded.
The Army’s 6th Infantry Division also dispatched teams of soldiers to scour interior barangays in Shariff Saidona Mustapha where Abu Toraife and his men were spotted on Thursday morning.
Lt. Col. John Paul Baldomar, spokesman of the Army division, said they carried out the operation as a preemptive strike against the group from carrying terror attacks.
“Our pacification effort is a preemptive security campaign,”said Baldomar. The Army division worked hard to prevent the group from moving around, he added.
Abu Toraife is facing more than 30 criminal cases in different courts in central Mindanao. Authorities tagged him for deadly bomb attacks in the region since 2015.
BIFF elements had repeatedly intruded last month into farming enclaves in Datu Saudi town in Maguindanao. The intrusions had provoked clashes with the military that displaced more than 3,000 families.