A member of the police’s elite Special Action Force (SAF) was killed when suspected members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) attacked a police detachment in Datu Unsay, Maguindanao, Friday night, police and military officials said.

PO1 Randy Dumaguing got killed when an undetermined number of BIFF members “harassed” the SAF base Brgy. Maitumaig around 11:30 p.m., Col. Prudencio Asto, public affairs chief of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division (6th ID), said.

Senior Supt. Marcelo Pintac, Maguindanao provincial police director, said Dumaguing was a member of the SAF.

“The attack resulted to a firefight that lasted until 5 a.m.,” Pintac said in a phone interview.

Members of the 16th Field Artillery Battalion provided indirect fire support to the SAF’s embattled troops, Asto said.

On Friday morning, military and police troops retook from the BIFF guerillas a portion of the National Highway connecting Datu Unsay to Datu Salibo.

Meanwhile, an improvised explosive device went off near the 6th ID’s headquarters in Datu Odin Sinsuat, Friday night.

The bomb was planted beside an electric post of the Maguindanao Electric Cooperative at the crossing of Brgy. Awang, which leads to Camp Siongco and the Awang Airport. No one was reported hurt in the incident, Asto said.

Members of the Army’s Task Group Paliparan and Explosives and Ordnance Disposal Team were sent to secure and conduct investigate the area.

Earlier on Friday, another bomb explosion rocked a transmission tower of the National Grid Corp. in Pagalungan but the structure was not toppled, Pintac said.

Investigators are still trying to determine if the explosions were carried out by BIFF members, he said. (John Roson)

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