Army, BIFF clash in Maguindanao: 2,700 Mamasapano residents displaced

Around 2,700 Mamasapano residents fled and were displaced after the army, and Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) clashed in Barangay Tukanalipao, Mamasapano, Maguindanao, Saturday, November 9.

Army’s 33rd Infantry Battalion (33IB) had an encounter with the BIFF, which is linked to the Islamic State (IS) along Tukanalipao River wherein one rebel died, and two others were injured. The SAF (Special Action Force) 44 also died in the said site in 2015.

Army, BIFF clash in displaced Mamasapano residents

According to Ismael Hashim, chairperson of Barangay Tukanalipao, the BIFF opened on the military stationed near the new bridge built across Tukanalipao River.

The Mamasapano residents said the BIFF fled the scene with their killed and two wounded members following ground and artillery attacks by the government’s military forces.

“There was no reported casualty on the government side,” Hashim told reporters in a phone interview on Sunday.

Lt. Col. Elmer Boongaling, 33IB commander, said their team responded to reports on BIFF forming forces in the tri-borders of Tukanalipao, Tuka, and Pedsandawan villages, all in Mamasapano town.

Hashim said more than 450 families or 2,700 individuals ran for their lives to nearby villages.

In January 2015, the government’s elite force Special Action Force went on a mission to eliminate Malaysian terror bomber Zulkifli bin Hir alias “Marwan.” However, the operation failed and resulted in the unfortunate death of 44 SAF members.