Encounter with gov’t forces in Maguindanao kills 4 BIFF militants

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 13) — An armed clash between government authorities and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters -Karialan faction in Datu Paglas, Maguindanao resulted in the death of four of the BIFF gunmen.

In a statement, Brig. Gen. Roy Galido, commander of the 601st Infantry Brigade, said the encounter happened in the early morning of May 12 as the militants try to evade security forces but were intercepted by Army troops.

Recovered from the extremist group were four bodies, one high-powered firearm, and other war materials, Galido said.

He noted that the group has been the target of military operations in Datu Paglas and nearby areas after their encounter on May 8 in the public market of the municipality.

Since then, the group has suffered four deaths, while two were arrested through the authorities’ intensified manhunt activities.

This comes after President Rodrigo Duterte appealed to local officials of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao to help the government control rebels in the region to avoid an "all-out offensive."

In his speech before BARMM officials, the President also slammed the BIFF for its continued attacks.

"But the monkey wrench of the whole situation now is the BIFF...They continue to burn, ambush, detonate bombs," he said. "Talagang (It's really) full-blown terrorism."