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MILF chair: We saved 28 SAF commandos from death

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Moro Islamic Liberation Front peace panel chair Mohagher Iqbal joined the third leg of the Senate inquiry on the Mamasapano operation on Thursday. Senate PRIB/Romy Bugante

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) saved 28 police commandos from the pang of death during the bloody clash in Mamasapano, Maguindanao last January 25, according to MILF peace panel chair Mohagher Iqbal told the Senate panel on Thursday.

During the third leg of the Senate inquiry on the Mamasapano operation, Iqbal said that MILF tried to save the lives of the SAF commandos at the height of the firefight.

“They were already being fired upon by unidentified armed groups. The 28 SAF are alive today because of the efforts of the MILF,” Iqbal said.

The MILF chairman also denied allegations that they cuddled terrorists Zulkifli Bin Hir, alias Marwan, and Basit Usman, who were the primary targets of the operation.

“The MILF has no links with these terrorists and terrorist organizations. Marwan and Usman were outside MILF controlled areas,” Iqbal said, reiterating that the MILF is against terrorism.

Iqbal noted that it is unfair to tag the MILF responsible for the death of 44 SAF commandos and as terrorists.

“The delicate task of finding out who did what, especially the reported atrocities cannot be immediately be blamed on the MILF. That would be unfair. We need to investigate,” Iqbal said.

Iqbal reiterated the MILF’s commitment to the peace process and the fight against terrorism.

“We have made a solemn vow to fight terrorism in our areas. Terrorism is inconsistent with Islam and has no place in the orientation and principles of the MILF,” Iqbal explained.

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