2 soldeirs, 20 BIFF killed in latest Maguindanao clash

CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao, March 11 — The latest skirmishes between Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and Philippine Marine troopers in Mamasapano, Maguindanao on Tuesday had twenty Moro bandits and two soldiers killed.

Speaking for the 6th Infantry Division Capt. Joann Petinglay said the encounter between 8th Marine Battalion Landing Team under Task Force Central and BIFF started at about 4 p.m. Tuesday and ended past midnight.

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”Our troops clashed with about 70 BIFF armed men while the military was conducting clearing operations in Barangay Pusao,” Petinglay said.

About 20 BIFF members were killed and 30 others were wounded, Petinglay said, quoting a report from MBLT-8.

Without identifying the slain soldiers, Petinglay said their families have been fully informed.

Reports said the elusive Filipino bomber Basit Usman was with the group but still managed to escape.

Earlier today, March 11, fighting erupted at the same area between the operating Marines troops and the BIFF.

To date, more than 100 BIFF have been killed and 60 other were wounded. Petinglay said the slain BIFF were buried by their retreating companions while others brought the wounded.

On the government side, six soldiers, including an Army captain and two lieutenants were slain and 27 others were wounded.

Petinglay said no civilian was injured since the fighting was in the middle of the marshland already deserted by non-combatants. (PNA)

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