MILF guerrillas clash with MNLF men in North Cotabato

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01:57 PM August 15th, 2013

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By: Edwin Fernandez, August 15th, 2013 01:57 PM

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KIDAPAWAN CITY, North Cotabato—Fighting broke out  between members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front  and the Moro National Liberation Front in a remote village in Matalam, North Cotabato, on Wednesday, forcing some 50 families to flee their homes, the military said here Thursday. There were no immediate reports of casualties.

Capt. Antonio Bulao, speaking for the military’s 602nd Infantry Brigade, said the renewed violence started when members of the MILF, led by Commander Alimansur Imbong, burned the house of Macapagal Mangadta, a brother of an MNLF commander identified only by the alias Dragon  about 9:30 a.m. Wednesday in Barangay Kidama.

“The attackers also butchered the carabao of Mangadta, which angered more the MNLF in the area,” Bulao said.

Bulao said the military stayed on the sidelines to avoid a mis-encounter.

He said the military believed the fighting was not sanctioned by the leadership of two Moro organizations.

“We appeal to the leaders of the MILF and MNLF to discipline their field commanders to avoid unnecessary loss of lives and properties,” Bulao said.

Both sides have been observing a truce facilitated by the military, the International Monitoring Team and the local government officials in the wake of on-and-off fighting since May resulting from a long-standing land dispute.

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