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4 slain, 1 hurt in Basilan ambush

Two members of the government militia and two civilians were killed, while another was wounded in an ambush reportedly triggered by a clan war in Tipo-Tipo, Basilan Monday afternoon.

Village councilman Kasuyan Murang and Habir Callitut, both members of the Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit, along with Wahid and Husin Upisalin, both sons of a militiaman, were on their way home when armed men waylaid them in the village of Bohe Lebong at about 3:40 p.m.

The name of the wounded victim was not available as of press time.

“The incident was triggered by rido (clan war),” said Capt. Ma. Rowena Muyuella, spokesperson for the Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom).

The military said the victims, all of Barangay Bohe Tambak, were followers of Commander Mongon Agama, while the attackers were said to belong to a group led by Commander Bazir of Barangay Bakisung in Albarka town.

Reports said the attackers escaped after beheading two of the victims. Muyuella said they have yet to verify the report. She said soldiers have been deployed to the ambush site to retrieve the bodies of the victims and to avert a spillover of fighting between the two warring clans.

The military and local government officials have been working to settle the dispute between the two warring clans.

Meanwhile in Abra, four soldiers were wounded in a brief encounter with suspected New People’s Army (NPA) guerrillas at the boundary of Barangays Baay-Liccuan and Lacub Monday.

A report from the 41st Infantry Battalion (IB) identified the wounded troopers as 1Lt. Jandon Ihoc, Cpl. Femmie Agcaoili, and Pfcs. Ulysis Ancheta, Bryan Apalin and Mark Joel Callueng.

The military said the soldiers were responding to reports about the alleged presence of rebels in the village of Lenneng, when the encounter broke out.

Although the Procopio Tauro Front of the NPA operating in Abra claimed that two troopers were killed in the incident, police director Senior Superintendent Benjamin Lusad said the soldiers were only wounded.

Diego Wadagan, spokesperson for the NPA in Abra, said they launched an ambush after they monitored the movement of the government troopers.

The attack, Wadagan said, was meant to foil the second phase of the militay’s Oplan Bayanihan in the province and as punitive action against the soldiers of the 41st IB.

Article Source: Philippine Star

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