2 Muslim Groups Clashed, 10 Killed In South RP

September 19, 2007 at 3:14 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

COTABATO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / 19 Sept) – Ten people were killed in a firefight between two warring Muslim groups in the southern Philippines, officials said.

Officials said supporters of former Pagalungan town vice mayor Norodin Matalam and village chieftain Daitug Guima clashed at bridge in Kabacan town in North Cotabato province, killing 10 people.

Among those killed were Guima and six of his followers, two civilians and one from Matalam’s side. The former governor was also wounded in the fighting, said Army Col. Pedro Soria, commander of the 602nd Infantry Brigade.

Other reports said Matalam’s wife was also wounded, but this could not be independently confirmed.

“Ten people are dead and police authorities are still investigating the fighting, but apparently the two sides were long political opponents. We appeal to followers of both sides to stay calm,” he told the Mindanao Examiner.

He said Matalam’s group was heading to a village in North Cotabato to visit his farm while Guima and his companions were on their way to a gathering when they caught each other at the bridge.

“The fighting broke out after supporters of the two warring groups suddenly fired at each other on top of the bridge in the village of Lumayong,” Soria said.

Matalam ran for mayor in Pagalungan in elections this year, but lost to Uto Montowal, however, he contested his defeat. He said elections in Pagalungan were allegedly marred with cheating and fraud and that one of those who exposed poll irregularities, Musa Dimasidsing, the Maguindanao Schools District chief, was shot dead inside an Islamic school. (Mark Navales and Juan Magtanggol)

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