IS-linked BIFF owns up to Maguindanao attack
KORONADAL CITY –– Islamic State-inspired members of a Moro armed group in Maguindanao claimed responsibility for Thursday night’s attacks in Datu Piang town, where a police patrol car and a military detachment were burned.
Abu Jihad, spokesperson of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), told local radio on Friday that his group was forced to attack due to the rampant illegal activities in the town that included the proliferation of illegal drugs and alcoholic drinks.
“The Law of Islam prohibits all (vices) … we are just enforcing it,” Jihad said, noting that they targeted the town’s military detachment that was only partially burned.
“We will not stop and no one can stop us while there are illegal activities in town,” he said.
The BIFF, a splinter group of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), had split from Mindanao’s largest separatist group after the latter signed a peace deal with the government that eventually led to the setting up of the MILF-led Bangsamoro autonomous region.
Lt. Col. Anhouvic Atilano, spokesperson of the military’s 6th Division, said its detachment that is close to the church and school was partially burned Thursday night at the height of the fighting.
“We inspected the site now but contrary to information circulating on social media, the church, school, and other government facilities are still intact,” Atilano said.