Philippine troops hunt down Indon militants aiding local jihadists
COTABATO CITY – Local jihadists are believed to be coddling at least 6 Indonesian militants who are all bomb experts that managed to sneak in southern Philippines to fight alongside their Filipino counterparts in Mindanao, the army said Friday.
It said security forces launched an operation aimed at preventing terror attacks by these foreigners who were reported to be working with the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters under Ismael Abdulmalik and Salahuddin Hassan in the restive province of Maguindanao.
Major General Arnel dela Vega, commander of the 6thInfantry Division, said there were also reports that at least 8 Singaporeans and Malaysian militants are also in the region where security forces clashed recently with BIFF members in several areas in the towns of Salibu, Pagatin, Mamasapano and Shariff Aguak.
He said troops recovered assorted weapons and ammunition, including improvised explosives left behind by the BIFF. The war materials were also presented to journalists during a news conference presided by Dela Vega at the army headquarters in Datu Odin Sinsuat town.
The army insisted that at least 31 BIFF members were allegedly killed in the clashes, but troops recovered not even a single body of militants. (Rhoderick Beñez)
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