COTABATO City — A military airstrike against alleged members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (Biff) hit a house in a village in Pikit, Cotabato, killing a woman and wounding her husband and their grandson at dawn yesterday.
Killed was Misba Masla of Sitio Butelin, Barangay Kabasalan in Pikit. Her husband, Ali, and grandson Edwin, a 5th grader, were seriously injured and were rushed to the Cruzado Medical Clinic in Pikit.
Maj. Homer Estolas, spokesperson of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, said the air and ground assaults targeted the Abu Toraife Group of Dawlah Islamiyah Mindanao, an alleged sub-group of the Biff.
Abu Misry Mama, spokesperson of Biff, denied that the group of Toraife was in the area. He said the Army strikes hit civilian homes.
“How could they say in public that they are protecting civilians when in fact, very obvious, that they bombed the house of an old woman?” he said in a phone interview.
Estolas, for his part, said they will investigate the incident.
“This is a division-wide proactive operation in Maguindanao and North Cotabato to halt the manufacturing of bomb-making facilities of Biff who are posing a threat of bomb attacks,” said Brig. Gen. Alfredo Rosario of the 602nd Infantry Brigade in North Cotabato.
He said a still unidentified follower of Eds Grapil of Biff was killed. (Mindanews)