Clashes over land feud erupt anew in Matalam

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KIDAPAWAN CITY—Fighting erupted anew between members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in a remote village in Matalam, North Cotabato, forcing at least 50 families to flee, the military said.

Capt. Antonio Bulao, speaking for the military’s 602nd Infantry Brigade, said the clashes started when members of the MILF, led by Alimansur Imbong, burned the house of Macapagal Mangadta, brother of MNLF leader Dragon past 9 a.m. on Wednesday in Barangay (village) Kidama.

The MILF members allegedly also butchered a carabao owned by Mangadta.

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

Both sides have been observing a localized truce facilitated by the military, the International Monitoring Team and the local government.

The clashes are believed rooted in a land dispute. Edwin Fernandez,

Inquirer Mindanao

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