At least four members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters-Karialan faction died during a firefight with government forces in Datu Paglas, Maguindanao on Wednesday, a few days after the Muslim rebels attacked a marketplace in the province, Brigadier General Roy Galido, commander of the 601st Infantry Brigade said state troops recovered four dead bodies belonging to the BIFF, one high powered firearm, and other war materiel.
Galido said the group has been the target of the security force’s pursuit operations in Datu Paglas and nearby towns after a clash with military forces near the public market of the town last May 8.
Since then, he said the group already suffered four casualties, while two were arrested with the intensified manhunt of the military and police.
Meanwhile, the National Bureau of Investigation arrested an alleged sleeper cell member of the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) who has evaded arrest for almost two decades.
NBI Officer-In-Charge (OIC)-Director Eric B. Distor on Wednesday said Wahab S. Jamal a.k.a. Ustadz Usman Halipa was arrested by members of the NBI-Counter-Terrorism Division at Maharlika Village in Taguig last May 7.
He was nabbed through a warrant of arrest issued by the Regional Trial Court of Basilan for kidnapping and serious illegal detention.
Jamal is the 27th member of the ASG arrested by the NBI since 2018. He was involved in the Golden Harvest plantation kidnapping on June 11, 2001 in Tairan, Lantawan in Basilan.