Philippines government conducts mass burials as deadly Marawi siege continues

While most Filipinos are joyfully celebrating the New Year, a police officer was killed and seven other security forces were heavily injured in two separate bomb attacks in less than 24 hours. Government officials blamed the attack on the Daesh-inspired militants locally known as Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Frighters (BIFF).

The first bomb attack happened on Sunday night when a team of police security forces went to the boundary of Datu Hoffer municipality and Shariff Aguak municipality in Maguindanao province to run after armed BIFF members spotted in the area.

As police security forces approached the area, an improvised device exploded that blew their vehicle away.

The person killed on the spot was identified as senior police officer Max Kaibat, who had sustained shrapnel wounds.

Five other police officers were also injured and they were identified as police officer Jalison Abdullah, police officer Archie Ansari Amelista, police officer Ricardo Almonio, police officer Alimodin Nuphay, and police officer Zainodin Abdullah.

Kaibat and the wounded police officers belong to the Shariff Aguak municipal police station. The wounded are now undergoing hospital treatment.

Moreover, in less than 24 hours, another roadside bombing took place that wounded two Philippine soldiers, namely Nelmar Acaso and John Mark Roquero.

The bomb attack happened on Monday at 8:30 in the morning at the boundary road connecting Shariff Aguak and Datu Hoffer. Acaso and Roquero were on board a military truck when the roadside bomb exploded.

Acaso and Roquero, who are members of the Philippine Army's 57th Infantry Batallion, were rushed to the hospital for treatment.

The BIFF is a breakaway faction of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the largest Islamic revolutionary organization operating in the Philippines. The MILF entered into a peace pact with the Philippine government but some MILF commanders were opposed to the idea so they created another revolutionary organization known as BIFF.

The Philippine government considers BIFF as a terrorist organization after some of its members joined the Maute Terrorist Group on May 23 to launch the bloody attack in Marawi. More than 800 combined terrorist group members and over a 100 Philippine soldiers were killed in that 5-month long battle.