BIFF fires grenade launchers on SAF, Army posts in Maguindanao

COTABATO CITY (MindaNews/20 April) — The Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) fired M-203 grenade launchers on command posts of the police Special Action Forces and Philippine Army posts in Shariff Aguak and Datu Hoffer Ampatuan towns in Maguindanao Sunday night.

Senior Superintendent Rodelio Jocson said the attack started around 6:30 p.m. when two grenades were fired at back of the 43rd Special Action Company’s office in Shariff Aguak, which is just a few meters away from Datu Akilan Ampatuan camp, the provincial police office.

Police commandoes at the post returned fire, forcing the BIFF to withdraw.

Twenty minutes later, another six grenades landed at the nearby 43rd Special Action Company command post, which is near the Maguindanao provincial hospital in Datu Hoffer town.

Alerted by the first attack, the police troopers returned fire again forcing the rebels to withdraw.

Around 7 p.m., the BIFF fired another grenade at the Philippine Army’s 2nd Mechanized Battalion stationed in Datu Salibo town.

The three grenade attacks on Sunday did not claim casualties on either side.

Newly installed BIFF leader Commander Bungos was believed to have ordered the attacks.

BIFF spokesperson Abu Misry Mama admitted the group was responsible for the attacks.

“It shows we are alive and kicking,” Mama said over the phone, brushing off military claims they were no longer capable of waging war after the “all-out offensive” in March and the death of their founder, Ustadz Amiril Umra Kato last week.

On Saturday night, three separate bombing attempts rocked Cotabato City and Maguindanao.

A restaurant worker was hurt when a grenade exploded at the national highway but missed its real target, an Army truck. (Ferdinandh B. Cabrera/MindaNews)