By Ali G. Macabalang
Cotabato City – A woman, who was believed pregnant, was killed, while her 14-year-old co-farm worker was wounded Saturday by mortar fire at the height of resumed military offensives against members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in Maguindanao, according to civilian and Army officials.
Initial reports identified the fatality as Naano Mangintas and the wounded boy as Nene Mohammad.
The victims were reportedly tending to a rice farm in Lower Idtig, Gen. Saliada Pendatun town in Maguindanao when a mortar round hit Saturday morning, lawyer Naguib Sinarimbo said in a social media post.
Mangintas was reportedly killed on-the-spot, while Mohammad was rushed to hospital for treatment, added Sinarimbo, a former executive secretary of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
Soldiers, backed by air support and mortar fire on June 9, launched surgical offensives on a makeshift bomb-making factory and other lairs of BIFF combatants led by certain kumander Bungos and Abu Toraife in some sections of the Liguasan Marsh bordering Maguindanao and North Cotabato.
Fifteen rebels were killed and the factory was overrun in the first day of operations, which were coordinated with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the Army’s 6th Infantry Division (6ID) said earlier.
The military operations were suspended during the celebration of the Eid’l Fitr (end of Ramadan fasting) on June 15, but resumed last Saturday, according to Senarimbo.