BIFF bomber killed in Maguindanao raid — military

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/22 May) – A suspected bomber of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters was killed in a joint operation by Army and police forces in Maguindanao early on Monday.

Capt. Arvin Encinas, spokesperson of the 6th Infantry Division said Murad Ali was slain when police commandos and Army soldiers raided his hiding place in Barangay Capiton, Datu Odin Sinsuat town, Maguindanao.

In a press release Monday, the Armed Forces’ Western Mindanao Command said “Ali was a “notorious bomb instructor and a protege of the late Basit Usman. Just like Usman, he was an expert bomb trainer of newly recruited BIFF members.”

Usman was killed on May 3, 2015 in an encounter with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

Wesmincom said joint elements of the 603rd Brigade from the 5th Special Forces Battalion and the 19th Infantry Battalion, and from the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group-Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao raided Ali’s place in Capiton at 1:00 a.m. Monday.

The operatives were armed with search warrants for violations of Republic Acts 9516 (law on illegal possession of explosives) and 10591 (Comprehensive Law on Firearms and Ammunition).

“Further recovered were a 60MM HE mortars round; a fragmentation grenade; an INGRAM; and suspected components of an Improvised Explosive Device, composed of seven pieces of nine-volt battery, 16 blasting caps, nine battery connectors, four sets of cutting tools, four cellular phones, a radio, a detonating cord, a GPS, and a laptop,” the press release said.

“The recovered items were brought to the headquarters of the CIDG-ARMM for documentation and proper disposition, while the remains of Ali were turned over to his relatives after proper procedures were made by the SOCO team,” it added.

“This recent operational accomplishment will seriously degrade the BIFF, which propagates terrorism by conducting bombing activities in Central Mindanao,” said Wesmincom commander Lt Gen Carlito G. Galvez Jr..

Also on Monday, a bomb exploded at a market place in Isulan town, Sultan Kudarat.

Reports said a security guard noticed three men on a motorcycle leave a bag before speeding away. Shortly after, the bag exploded.

No one was hurt in the blast. (Rhoderick Beñez/MindaNews)