Army seizes Dawla Islamiyah camp, explosives in Maguindanao

Army seizes Dawla Islamiyah camp, explosives in Maguindanao

COTABATO CITY –– Government forces discovered an abandoned camp believed to be used as a staging area of by the lawless Dawlah Islamiyah in Ampatuan, Maguindanao, military officials said.

Major Gen. Juvymac Uy, 6th Infantry Division commander and head of the Joint Task Force Central (JTFC), said elements of the 33rd Infantry Battalion, which formed part of JTFC operating units discovered the camp Tuesday dawn in Barangay Saniag, Ampatuan town while on pursuit operations against the fleeing members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).

“While scouring the area, ground troops found several anti-personnel mines intended to disrupt the movement of advancing military troops,” he said.

Seized in the abandoned camp were improvised bombs and BIFF’s signature explosives, which included bomb-making components, electrical wires, cut nails, and metal sheets as shrapnel.

Also recovered were personal belongings of BIFF members, who presumably left the area before government forces arrived.

Two BIFF members carrying improvised bombs were killed during focused military operations in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, and two other BIFF bombers in clashes in Surallah, South Cotabato two weeks ago.

Soldiers have been targeting the local terrorists in the hinterlands of the adjoining towns of Datu Hofer, Shariff Aguak, and Ampatuan in Maguindanao to stop the group from conducting bombing activities in Central Mindanao.

Over the weekend, a member of the Philippine Marines was killed while four of his companions were injured when the BIFF set off a roadside bomb along the national highway in Datu Hoffer town. Military officials said it was a retaliatory attack after the group suffered heavy casualties in the on-going military offensive.