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Hundreds flee as feuding MILF factions clash in North Cotabato

KIDAPAWAN CITY – Some 130 families from a remote village in Tulunan, North Cotabato have fled their homes following a clash between two warring factions of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Senior Inspector Ramel Hojilla, chief of the Tulunan police, said the encounter occurred Saturday morning between a group led by one Kumander Bhedz, and another under one Wahid and one Sukarno, all from the MILF 108th Base Command.

The displaced families are temporarily housed at the Tulunan Municipal Gym and are being attended to by the local government through the office of the Municipal Social Welfare and Development.



According ot Hojilla, the clash lasted for more than an hour, resulting in the death of a certain Benjie Guiamalel, a plantation worker. Two persons — Lumin Abdul Rakmad, 27, and Sanggacala Alon, 29 — were wounded in the skirmish, he added.

Authorities said the conflict was caused by a deep-seated land dispute.

The area, located at the boundary of Barangay Dungos in Tulunan, North Cotabato, and Barangay Pedtad in SK Pendatun, Maguindanao, is claimed by the families of the warring commanders. The area is also part of the Liguasan marsh, a known territory of the MILF.

A vast portion of the area is planted to bananas owned by the RNF Industries.

The fire fight came two days after a still unidentified group fired a rocket-propelled grenade that hit a government-owned backhoe being rented by the RNF Industries. — Malu Cadelina Manar/KBK, GMA News
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November 27, 2011 7:11pm

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