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MILF sees violation of ceasefire accord

/ 08:51 PM March 20, 2013

COTABATO CITY, Philippines—The Moro Islamic Liberation Front believes the ceasefire agreement between it and the government was violated during Monday’s skirmishes involving private armed groups and government forces.

“There should be an impartial investigation,” Ghadzali Jaafar, MILF vice chairman for political affairs, said in a radio interview.

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Jaafar said the MILF was almost dragged into the violence that broke out while government law enforcers were serving a warrant of arrest on  Dainga Ampatuan, one of the key suspects in the 2009 Maguindanao massacre, in Sitio (sub village) Lab, Barangay (village) Kuloy, Ampatuan, Maguindanao.

The area is a known to be a community controlled by the MILF.

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“The joint GPH-MILF ceasefire panel, along with the International Monitoring Team should look into it,” Jaafar said.

Ampatuan was killed when he and his men resisted arrest and fired at the arresting team.

Five policemen and a soldier were hurt in  exchanges of gunfire that went on sporadically for six hours on Monday until the military came into the picture and forced Ampatuan’s followers to retreat.

Kinog Mamaluba and Norin Ariray, both followers of Ampatuan, were arrested after the fighting. Government forces also recovered 12 assorted firearms from Ampatuan’s group.

Jaafar insisted that bloodshed could have been avoided had the government forces coordinated with the MILF.

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TAGS: Autonomy, Ceasefire, MILF, Moro Insurgency, Peace Talks
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