The Moro Islamic Liberation Front has launched an operation against its breakaway group Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, Inquirer.net reports evening of February 5. According to the report the firefight started at Barangay Kabasalan, Pikit town, around 5:50 p.m. Thursday.
6th Infantry Division said the Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters engaged in firefight were headed by Jack Abbas head of 108th, 109th, and 110th MILF Base Commands. Approximately 1,000 fighters are in an operation to flush out BIFF.
“The MILF has prior coordination with our troops in the area, as well as with the ceasefire committee that they will conduct peace dialogues. However, they encountered BIFF guerrillas coming from Mamasapano,” Captain Jo-anne Petinglay of 6ID said as quoted by Rappler.com. “We have soldiers in the area tasked to ensure the safety of civilians.”
MILF and BIFF were monitored to be building up forces since Tuesday this week.
Officials from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front are still gathering information from its ground fighters.
In a report by NDBCnews.com.ph, published early morning of Friday, Captain Petinglay said there was no actual engagement but both groups, believed to be two kilometers apart, only traded shots early Thursday evening.
Notre Dame Broadcasting Corporation added that MILF Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces chief Von Al Haq said there was no major skirmishes, contrary to what was reported earlier.