Philippines: Clashes between Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and security forces kill 25 people
Clashes between the pro-Islamic State (IS) Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and security forces in the southern Philippines since Christmas Eve has killed 25 and trapped 5,000 indigenous people in their villages, according to the Philippines military and a tribal leader.
Military air strikes were launched during the clashes, which were still on-going as of Tuesday (Jan 9), in the municipalities of Datu Hoffer, Datu Unsay and Datu Saudi in the Maguindanao province.
The trapped Teduray tribe in Maguindanao province are facing difficulties accessing food and water as the BIFF militants have heavily booby-trapped their land, according to one tribal leader.
“The military has killed at least 20 BIFF militants in clashes that erupted on Dec 24. The clashes are still on-going,” Major-General Arnel V dela Vega told Channel NewsAsia from Cotabato City, southern Philippines.