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Rebel leader killed in Maguindanao rido

A commander of the breakaway faction of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) was killed Saturday in an encounter with his former comrades in Maguindanao province, a military spokesman said.

“[The] two warring factions of the Moro rebel groups clashed due to unsettled difference," said acting Army spokesman Maj. Harold Cabunoc of the clash, which occurred in Datu Saudi Ampatuan.

He said the clash was triggered by a long-standing rido or clan war.

The MILF rebels were led by one Commander Fahad, reportedly of the group’s 118th Base Command, while the other group, called the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Movement (BIFM), was led by one Commander Mutin.

“Sporadic gun fires were heard until in the evening. Commander Mutin was reported killed in the fighting," said Cabunoc.

The BIFM was formed by Ameril Umbra Kato, who is based at Camp Omar in Maguindanao. Kato bolted out of the MILF last year and a formal expulsion order on him was issued by the MILF Central Committee last month.

Cabunoc said there were similar clashes between the feuding groups inside MILF-influenced communities during the past weeks, but the military did not intervene due to the ceasefire agreement with the MILF, which is negotiating for a peace accord with the government.

“As part of the ceasefire agreement, the soldiers are not allowed to enter the MILF-influenced communities without prior coordination with the Coordinating Committee for the Cessation of Hostilities which has AFP and MILF members as representatives," said Cabunoc. - KBK, GMA News
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11/20/2011 | 04:09 PM

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