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3 rebel camps in Philippines captured
Colonel Dickson Hermoso, spokesperson of the 6th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army, on Wednesday said air and ground assaults were launched in Maguindanao and North Cotabato borders that resulted to the capture of BIFF camps.
Now on its third day, Hermoso said the military offensive has been launched to aid the police in serving warrants of arrest against rebels facing various criminal offenses.
Ameril Umbra Kato, former commander of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), heads the BIFF breakaway group.
“The rebels were forced to abandon their strongholds and divided into smaller groups to avoid detection,” Hermoso said.
He said evacuees told troops on the ground in Datu Piang that the BIFF fled during the first day of artillery attacks, leaving their camps which served as perimeter defense to a bigger camp in the marshland.
Two soldiers belonging to the 45th Infantry Battalion have been slightly wounded in a brief encounter near a riverside BIFF camp in Datu Piang.
They were among the four Army battalions pursuing about 1,000 BIFF members and confined them in one area in the marshland.
More than 10,000 individuals have been displaced by the fighting and are being attended to by concerned government agencies.
“Our tactical activities against the BIFF are being coordinated closely with the MILF, they secure civilian communities,” Hermoso said.