Hundreds of families flee as clan war erupts in Maguindanao
Rosalinda L. Orosa (The Philippine Star) - January 18, 2013 - 8:00pm

COTABATO, Philippines (Xinhua) - Hundreds of families have fled dawn today as fierce fighting between two warring clans erupted in the restive southern Philippines, a local military official said.

Col. Dickson Hermoso, head of the military's 6th Division public affairs, said local MILF fighters leaded by Commander Bigcog surprisingly launched attacks around 2:30 a.m. against followers of Otto Montawal, mayor of Datu Montawal, a town in Maguindanao.

Hermoso said hundreds of families have evacuated to safer grounds as the fierce gun battle spread out in nearby villages. There have been no reports of casualties from both sides.

"Firing of guns can still be heard along the national highway. Local officials are trying to pacify both parties involved," he said.

The military official said the fighting has something to do with long standing land feud between Bigcog and Montawal.

In Mindanao, clan war is common among warring clans and sometimes the hostilities could last for decades until a peace pact is reached by protagonists, usually through mediation by religious leaders and the payment of blood money.  
 

BIGCOG AND MONTAWAL COMMANDER BIGCOG DATU MONTAWAL DICKSON HERMOSO HERMOSO IN MINDANAO LOCAL MAGUINDANAO MILITARY OTTO MONTAWAL XINHUA
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