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2 MILF groups clash in Kudarat; 2 killed

MANILA, Philippines - Infighting within the ranks of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) heightened on Monday when one of its field commanders was killed in an attack staged by a fellow commander in Sultan Kudarat.

Brig. Gen. Leo Ferrer, commander of the Army’s 601st Infantry Brigade based in Tacurong City, said Army troops are closely monitoring the developments on the ground following the killing of MILF’s 106th Base Command commander Sampulna Baumol and one of his men by the group of Commander Gane Saligan of the MILF’s 108th Base Command.

Ferrer said fighting broke out between the two MILF groups when Saligan attacked the camp of Baumol in Barangay Pidtiguian, Lambayong, Sultan Kudarat at around 1 p.m. Monday.

Ferrer said some 250 civilians were forced to flee their homes to avoid being caught in the crossfire.

Fighting only ceased at around 5 p.m. Monday, Ferrer said, adding that the government and MILF peace panels have been informed about the skirmishes.

Ferrer said the fighting was triggered by a long-standing land dispute between the groups of Saligan and Sampulna.

The government peace panel has repeatedly called on the MILF leadership to address infighting among their fighters.

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By Jaime Laude The Philippine Star Updated November 23, 2011 12:00 AM

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