MILF deploys 'friendly forces' in Maguindanao
Muslim rebels currently in peace talks with the government are trying to avoid battles with their former allies behind several attacks in the past few weeks in Mindanao. They have deployed "friendly forces" in areas targeted by the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Movement (BIFM), according to Ghadzali Jaafar, vice chairman for political affairs of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). BIFM is a breakaway group from the MILF.
Jaafar said that members of the MILF's National Guard unit, aka Task Force Etihad, are now in the province of Maguindanao to help ease tensions which could lead to further fighting with the BIFM and widespread violence in Mindanao.
Jaafar said, “We began deploying after they promised us that they will not make any moves that will destroy the unity of the people."
A month ago, BIFM fighters, led by Ameril Umbra Kato, attacked military detachments and villages in Maguindanao, leaving scores of troops dead and causing more than 7,000 families to flee the region.
Kato, who used to be in charge of the MILF 105th Base Command, is thought to have been behind the attacks on civilians in North Cotabato in 2008. The rogue commander heads the 1,000-strong armed wing of the BIFM, which broke away from the MILF two years ago.
MILF spokesman Von Al Haq claimed that Kato is still hiding somewhere in Datu Piang town in Maguidnanao but is apparently weak and can hardly speak because he is not getting enough supplies for his medical condition. He said, “His condition is deteriorating faster and only his wife and son are attending to him."
Posted by: ryuge