7 injured in North Upi; BIFF claims responsibility for attacks

COTABATO  CITY (MindaNews / 09 December) — The Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) has claimed responsibility for the series of explosions and ambush that injured six Marine troopers and a policeman in North Upi, Maguindanao.

Abu Misry Mama, spokesperson of the BIFF faction under Kumander Bungos admitted in a telephone interview that their men were behind these attacks. He said it is part of their “continuing struggle” for a separate Islamic State.

Captain Arvin Encinas, spokesperson of 6th Army Kampilan Division, said the enemy first fired an M-203 grenade launcher at the detachment of the 1stManuever Platoon of the Provincial Police Security Company in Barangay Nuro, Upi, Maguindanao at around 11:05 p.m. on Friday.  P02 Ismael Alabat was injured.

Fifteen minutes later, another bomb went off in Nuro bridge less than 50 meters away, prompting the Marines to deploy mobile patrol teams to secure the town.

Encnias said that at around 1:10 a.m. Saturday, another blast was heard, hitting the truck of the Marines who were about to go back to base in Barangay Mirab.

Injured were Major Romulo Ducay, Corporals Ryan Cabual,  Arnel Jun, Oliver Albo and Alvin Jay Sangadan, and Private First Class Gerwin Perez.

They were immediately rushed to Camp Siongco hospital in Awang, Maguindanao.

Senior Superintendent Agustin Tello said they suspect the BIFF was behind the explosions, based on the signature of the explosives used.

Mayor Ramon PIang of North Upi denounced the attacks.

“We strongly denounce the attack on our security sector who have always been working hard in maintaining peace and order in Upi,”Piang said.

He urged the police to investigate the matter to immediately track down the perpetators. (Ferdinandh B. Cabrera / MindaNews)