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200 armed men storm Zamboanga Sibugay village, says mayor

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12:19 AM October 23rd, 2011

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October 23rd, 2011 12:19 AM

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines—Some 200 armed men stormed Talusan village in Olutangga, Zamboanga Sibugay around 2:30 p.m. Saturday, town Mayor Joel Caputolan said.

Caputolan said the armed men occupied the Samonte Elementary School there.

He said militiamen have monitored the arrival of the armed men—whose identities were still being ascertained—but because they were outnumbered, they decided to fall back towards Kawilan village.

It was not immediately known if the armed men are still occupying the school as of this writing, according to Caputolan.

Another report, which could not be independently confirmed, said an undetermined number of armed men also landed in the shoreline of Migpulao village in Dinas, Zamboanga del Sur.

Mayor Aldwin Alibutdan of Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay, said “all people in Sibugay are living in fear.”

The fresh incidents came in the wake of a claim by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) that the military dropped bombs and shelled their camps in Payao town, also in Zamboanga Sibugay.

The military air strike and artillery shelling followed Thursday night’s ambushes, Alicia and Kabasalan towns, in which seven government men – four soldiers and three policemen—were killed and left eight others injured.

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