At least five Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) militants were reportedly killed in a military operation that began on Saturday, March 9, near Shariff Saydona (Maguindanao province). Reports indicate at least one soldier has died in clashes on Monday, March 11. The operation was reportedly carried out in response to recent advances by BIFF militants. Further military operations and clashes are expected in the coming days and weeks in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
The Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) are a splinter group of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). MILF fought an insurgency against the government since the 1970s before signing a ceasefire agreement in 2014. Multiple armed criminal and terrorist groups are still active in the southern Philippines despite the ceasefire.
Individuals in the southern Philippines are advised to monitor developments to the situation, remain vigilant for militant and criminal activity, anticipate continued military operations, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments. As a reminder, several Western governments advise against travel to western and central Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago due to the risk of kidnapping and terrorism.
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