COTABATO CITY, Philippines – The breakaway Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) has a new military commander, Sheik Mohidin Animbang.
This was disclosed by BIFF spokesman Abu Misry Mama in a recent Rappler interview. Mama said that BIFF’s founding leader, Ameril Umra Kato, is no longer directly in charge of BIFF operations. Kato suffered a stroke last year. He is reportedly bedridden. Some say he’s comatose.
The BIFF broke away from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) over serious disagreements on the MILF’s peace talks with the Aquino administration, among other reasons.
This week, bombs exploded in 3 different areas in Maguindanao and North Cotabato, where BIFF forces operate. The BIFF claimed responsibility for a roadside bomb in Maguindanao on August 7 that wounded 7 Army soldiers.
Mama said the BIFF attacked the soldiers, but vehemently denied responsibility for the bombings that hit civilians. (Watch the interview below)