COTABATO CITY: Government forces on Wednesday night aborted simultaneous planned attacks of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in Maguindanao towns, officials said.
Captain Arvin Encinas, spokesman forthe Army’s 6th Infantry Division, confirmed to The Manila Times that the BIFF planned to carry out attacks in Datu Salibo and Sharief Aguak towns on Wednesday evening at about 9 p.m.
The plan, however, was repelled after residents and local government units tipped off authorities about the BIFF plot.
“We already received information from local communities that the BIFF was planning simultaneous attacks… We were able to repel it,” Encinas said.
No one was hurt in ensuing clashes that lasted 10 minutes.
Encinas described the Wednesday evening incidents as “encounters” because “the troops were able to fire first before the attackers,” denying reports from the terrorist Islamic State (IS) that the government troops were ambushed.
IS supporters, in a Telegram channel on Thursday morning, claimed responsibility for the attack.
“Soldiers of the Cross were ambushed by the fighters of the Islamic State in Sharif Aguak and Datu Salibo, Maguindanao around 9 p.m. yesterday [Wednesday] evening,” the militants said through Amaq News Agency, a propaganda arm of the IS.