MAGUINDANAO – As Christians all over the world celebrated Holy Thursday, the sound of mortars from government forces were heard today in the town of Datu Saudi Ampatuan.
Datu Saudi Ampatuan Mayor Samsudin Dimaukom said they are used to the sound of the military artilleries.
He said that when government troops fire their cannons, this means enemies hiding in the outskirts have been sighted.
Although Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief General Gregorio Catapang halted the all-out offensive against the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), focused military operations are now being conducted in the area.
This means not more than one brigade will be operating against the BIFF.
A military source said officials are still going after some BIFF commanders and do not want them to regroup, which is why mortars are being fired where BIFF members are sighted.
Mayor Freddie Mangudadatu said he is disturbed with the thought that mortar shellings are happening while Christians are observing lent.
"Sana itigil na lang. Ang mga Muslim nirerespeto natin ang Semana Santa kaya sana matigil na," he said.
He called on the government troops and the BIFF to stop the fighting first.
Meanwhile, a hand grenade was thrown at a military outpost in Datu Salibo town in Maguindanao.
According to the local police, three soldiers were slightly hit with splinters in the incident.
Authorities also recovered two hand grenades along Sinsuat Avenue.
The bomb squad has safely recovered the explosives.