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10,000 flee Maguindanao villages amid MILF rebels’ clash

/ 05:42 PM January 23, 2018

DATU SAUDI AMPATUAN, Maguindanao – Some 10,000 individuals fled Barangay Madia and two other adjoining villages here as two groups of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) rebels clashed since Sunday, police authorities said.

While it was still uncertain if there were casualties among the MILF groups, led by Commander Haron Sindatuk of the 105th Base Command and Commander Datu Adam of the 118th Base Command, a teacher was confirmed to have been injured by a stray bullet.

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Baidido Kamansa, 44, was on her way to her school in Barangay Madia when she was hit on the head on Monday. The clashes were about one kilometer from where she was hit.

Senior Supt. Agustin Tello, the Maguindanao police director, said the clash started on Sunday night when the group of Adam attacked Sindatuk’s group. He said on Monday alone, the firefight lasted for three hours.

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Sindatuk and Adam were reportedly fighting over overlapping territories in Barangay Madia.

Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu said he had asked the Malaysian-led International Monitoring Team (IMT) to intervene.

The IMT takes charge of settling disputes between MILF factions under the peace deal the government had signed with the rebel group.

Based on police data, the evacuees – numbering 2,456 families from the villages of Elian, Gawang and Madia – were now staying at the Dapiawan Elementary School in Barangay Dapiawan here.

The humanitarian-arm of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) had been dispatched to assist the affected families, regional officials said. /je

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TAGS: clash, flee, Maguindanao, MILF rebels, Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Village
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