Military airstrikes and ground assaults conducted by the Army’s 602nd Infantry Brigade the past two days left 11 ISIS-inspired armed men killed in a remote village in Carmen, North Cotabato, the Army said Saturday.
Eight of those were killed when the Philippine Air Force launched the offensive in the village of Tonganon in Carmen, North Cotabato where Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) along with foreign terrorists were holed up.
Three others died when elements of the Army’s 34th Infantry Battalion clashed with forces of Esmael Abdulamlik alias Abu Toraife, according to Army Capt. Arvin John Encinas, 6th Infantry Division (6ID) spokesperson.
Encinas said the Army also captured what appeared to be a training camp of the BIFF, a band of Moro rebels turned bandits that pledged alliance with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, the Maute terrorist and Abu Sayyaf Group.
Major Gen. Arnel dela Vega, 6th ID chief, said the air strikes on Thursday were launched after the BIFF were sighted in the village of Tonganon as preemptive measure to prevent the terrorist from attacking civilian communities.
Military ground assaults were conducted Friday amid heavy downpour brought by Tropical Storm Vinta that hit parts of Mindanao, including North Cotabato province.
According to Encinas, the slain terrorists were immediately buried by their companions while others were taken by relatives for burial.
Four soldiers were injured while a militiaman, identified as CAFGU Proseso Lacuesta, was killed during the ground encounter in Tonganon.
Airstrikes were suspended Friday due to inclement weather while ground operations continue, Encinas said.
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