Clan War Erupts In Southern RP

October 10, 2007 at 5:59 pm | Posted in 1 | Leave a comment

COTABATO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Oct. 10, 2007) – Clan war between two Muslim groups have erupted Wednesday in the southern Philippines, forcing hundreds of villagers to flee their homes.

The fighting broke out in Kitango village in Datu Saudi Ampatuan town in Maguindanao province after former Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) rebels clashed with pro-government militia and police forces.

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front, which is currently negotiating peace with Manila, has ordered its forces to stay away from the hostilities, Eid Kabalu, the group’s spokesman, said.

Kabalu said some MILF members, who have relatives from both warring groups, were dragged into the fighting. “We have ordered MILF members to stay out of trouble. Our concern now is how to help Muslim villagers displaced by the fighting,” he said.

He said there were no immediate reports of casualties, but the hostilities have affected the livelihood of villagers and were threatening their safety.

“Sporadic clashes are going on in the area and we are appealing to the two warring groups to cease fighting so villagers can return to their homes,” Kabalu said, adding, the skirmishes were probably triggered by a land feud.

The MNLF signed a peace deal with Manila in September 1996 while the MILF is still fighting for a separate Muslim homeland in the southern region. (Mindanao Examiner)

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