Friday, March 6, 2015

AFP troopers capture bomb factory in Mamasapano

From the Website of AFP
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CAMP AGUINALDO, Quezon City – The Armed Forces of the Philippines has captured a factory of improvised bombs during the assault on a BIFF stronghold in Mamasapano town yesterday. 

Colonel Melquiades Feliciano, the Commander of the Army's 601st Infantry Brigade that spearheaded the offensive operations against the bandits, said that his troops captured the encampment owned by Mohammad Tambako in Bgy Dasikil. 

"Our troops successfully seized a bomb-making facility after assaulting the enemy positions yesterday. The enemy was able to escape but the equipment and materials that are used to fabricate home-made bombs were left behind," said Feliciano.

Among the recoveries include vital components for making bombs such as mortar fuses, ammonium nitrate, blasting caps and tie wires.

Terrorist coddlers

Feliciano said that Basit Usman is currently coddled by small bands of notorious bandits from two different BIFF groups. 

Mohammad Ali Tambako of Mamasapano town is one of Usman's current protector. He is a BIFF leader who had carried out violent atrocities against civilians both in Maguindanao and North Cotabato.

Another one is BIFF leader named Kagi Karialan with at least 100 members. He led the attack on MILF communities and civilian communities nearby in Kabasalan and Bulol, both in Pikit, North Cotabato in two separate occasions, displacing at least 25,000 people.

Several tipsters have spotted Usman in the bailiwicks of these cohorts. Five foreign nationals who are believed to be members of an international terrorist organization, were seen moving with Usman as they evaded their pursuers.

Law enforcement operation

On March 1 (Sunday), the Army's 6th Infantry Division led by Major General Edmundo Pangilinan facilitated a meeting with different local government officials in order to shed light on the ongoing 'all-out offensive' actions against the BIFF. 

Held inside the 6th ID headquarters, the meeting participants tackled different issues including the purpose of the ongoing law enforcement operations against the BIFF. 

During the meeting, the military officials explained that the government forces are hunting down Basit Usman's group who were sighted in the hinterland villages Shariff Saydona and Mamasapano municipalities. 
The government officials also agreed to collaborate on how to protect the civilian population and in providing humanitarian assistance to at least 5,700 affected families who were displaced from their homes.
As of today, the AFP has accounted nine (9) members of the BIFF who were killed in the recent law enforcement operations in Maguindanao.

Three soldiers were also wounded in the fighting.

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