Cop hurt in BIFF harassment in Maguindanao, Army hunts down jihadists

SHARIFF AGUAK, Maguindanao — A police officer was slightly injured when suspected local jihadists attacked Saturday night a police station and two Army outposts in Maguindanao, police said.

Senior Supt. Agustin Tello, director of the Maguindanao provincial police, said PO1 Usman Datuan of the Datu Unsay municipal police office, is now recuperating in a hospital from bullet injuries.

Tello said members of the outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) came close to the police station in Datu Unsay and opened fire, triggering a brief firefight at past 7 p.m.

Although outnumbered, the police officers returned fire on the BIFF who were forced to flee when soldiers of a nearby detachment came responding.

Another group of ISIS inspired BIFF also attacked with rifle grenades an Army base located near the town hall.

No one was reported injured among soldiers of the 57th Infantry Battalion in Barangay Meta, also in Datu Unsay and in another Army detachment in nearby Datu Saudi town, also in Maguindanao.

Tello could not say if the BIFF suffered casualties following the artillery fire from government forces.

Police believed the attack was meant to avenge the death of six BIFF after it clashed with joint government forces and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in nearby Shariff Saydona town.

Tello said police personnel in towns vulnerable to BIFF attacks are on full alert following Friday’s attack on the Datu Unsay municipal police station.

The Maguindanao police have augmented its forces in towns vulnerable to harassment by BIFF. These are the towns of Mamasapano, Shariff Aguak, Datu Salibo, Datu Unsay, Datu Saudi Ampatuan and Datu Piang.

The Army’s 57th Infantry Battalion also beefed up its forces to thwart attacks by BIFF forces which, an Army official said, want to make its presence felt anew in Maguindanao. EOF/