By Francis Wakefield
The Joint Task Force Central (JTFC) Wednesday said that it has sustained its surgical air, artillery and ground operation to the identified and confirmed targets in the areas of Salibu-Pagatin-Mamasapano and Shariff Aguak against the DAESH-inspired terrorist group under Salahudin Hassan, as part of their effort to neutralize the enemy.
On Monday, March 11, JTFC launched a surgical air and artillery mission to clearly identify and confirm targets that complemented a focused ground operation against the DAESH inspired terrorist group.
The operation, according to JTFC and Army 6th Infantry Division Commander Major General Cirilito Sobejana, was initiated after a concerned citizen relayed information regarding the consolidation of the fully armed terrorist group in the specific area.
Sobejana said local residents also reported to the authorities that the terror group forcibly occupied their houses since February that pushed them to leave out of fear.
“Former BIFF rebels who surrendered to JTFC also supported the information being relayed to locate the specific locations of the terror group,” Sobejana said.
“Follow on operations ensured that the terrorists were confined in the area and prevented the spill over as our troops were deployed in the strategic areas,” he added.
Sobejana said appropriate coordination was made with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front-Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (MILF-CCCH) and the targeted areas were confined to locations far from the local communities.
“The JTFC is very determined to defeat these threat groups and prevent them from doing terroristic activities to bring about peace in Central Mindanao,” Sobejana said.
“We urge the continued support and cooperation of our people in the communities to hasten the attainment of peace and development.”
“Let us be partners in preventing and countering the efforts of the radical extremist groups in sowing fear and violence,” he added.
Sobejana said the help of the local populace is much needed to help the military defeat the local terrorist group ISIS under Abu Turaife. This group is responsible for feeding the youth with the wrong ideology.
Killed terrorists identified
Meanwhile, the 6th ID has released the names of 17 of the 20 local terrorists who perished as a result of the surgical airstrikes and artillery missions launched against the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and the Daulah Islamiyah in Maguindanao.
The 6th ID identified the killed terrorists based on human intelligence and body count as Abdul Karim Kadil, Yusop Lakiman, alias Paks/Pagal, Yusop alias Bastardo, Musa alias USA, Dungadong alias Dong, Hamer Lakiman, Alladin Bagundong, Baser Abdula, Muhalidin Akob, Ansare Mukalir, Datokan Masala, Mutasir Manap. Kage Manap, Duang Ali At, Mubarak Antoling and Yusop Kadir.
The military also expressed belief that a still undetermined number of terrorists were wounded.
Three IEDs (improvised explosive device) were also recovered.
The 6th ID has yet to verify that commanders and sub-commanders of the BIFF and Daulah Islamiyah which includes Salahudin Hassan and Singaporean Mauwiyah who is the remaining remnant of Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli Abdhir alias “Marwan”, were also killed in their operations.