Manila: An officer of the Philippine Army and two of his men have been killed by members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in southern Philippines, a military official said Tuesday.
Col. Dickson Hermoso, spokesman of the Philippine Army's 6th Infantry Division, said the three were aboard a pick-up truck when they were waylaid by an undetermined number of BIFF men along a national road in Datu Piang town, Maguindanao province, Monday afternoon.
Hermoso said the three were on their way to Midsayap town in North Cotabato province from General Santos City.
"Without any provocation, the victims were shot at close range and were divested of their valuables," Xinhua quoted him as saying.
Hermoso said initial investigation showed that robbery was the motive of the BIFF members as the wallets, laptops and other belongings of the victims were missing.
He said BIFF spokesman Abu Misry Mama had admitted that his group was responsible for the incident.
The 400-strong BIFF is composed of former leaders and members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). The MILF signed a peace agreement with the Philippine government in March.