MANILA, Feb 3 (Mabuhay) –After capturing the main camps of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters last week, the Armed Forces of the Philippines is aiming to neutralize the armed group’s capability to make improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
In a radio interview on Monday, AFP public information office head Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala said the IEDs have been tagged as the cause of the deaths and injuries sustained by government troops.
“Majority ng wounded and killed in action, dahil sa IED. Napakaimportante ma-takeover natin ang areas of influence. Ang importante, hindi natin sila binigyan ng pagkakataon mag-continue ng training at gumawa ng IED,” Zagala said.
He said at least 52 BIFF members had been killed while one soldier died in action, even as 20 soldiers and eight civilians had been wounded during last week’s operations.
Last week, government troops captured the main camps of the BIFF, a breakaway group of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
The BIFF had been linked to attacks in Mindanao after government and MILF negotiators signed last Jan. 25 an annex that would pave the way for a comprehensive peace pact.
In the meantime, Zagala maintained the government will continue its security and stability and law enforcement operations.
“Ang law enforcement operations patuloy … Terrorist nature ito. Hindi natin dapat payagan ituloy ang activity na ito,” he said. (MNS)