Military offensive against BIFF displaces innocent civilians in Maguindanao

Cotabato City – Military offensive against the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) have driven the innocent civilians out from their homes and made them running and flocking with their belongings along the national roads in the municipalities of Datu Saudi and Datu Unsay in the province of Maguindanao on Friday morning of February 27, 2015.

According to military personnel on the ground, the BIFF has blocked the national road in Barangay Maitumaig in Datu Unsay as they passed-by from marsh land towards the mountain areas of Maguindanao.

The skirmishes erupted around 10:00 in the morning and continued until 2:00 in the afternoon of Friday. The aerial support is pouring rockets and the mechanized brigade is pounding BIFF position. Children were crying when a rocket fired from a gunship chopper exploded about a kilometer away from an evacuation center in Crossing Salbo.

Khadija Abddul, an evacuee and a resident of Barangay Maitumaig, said they were taking their breakfast when the tension started and made them left their foods as military personnel told them to runaway right away.

A sick-old man Guiamadil asked his daughter a food while laying down on a vendor’s table in public market at Crossing Salbo but his daughter could offer nothing, rather, she said (Ama niya tano sa bakwitan) “father we’re here now in evacuation center”.

Numbers of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the area are increasing until the end of the day for possible escalation of armed confrontation.

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