^

Matalam residents flee as MNLF, MILF clash

John Unson (The Philippine Star) - August 15, 2013 - 4:18pm

NORTH COTABATO, Philippines  - Tension  rose  anew Wednesday in two barangays in Matalam town after guerillas of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) burned down a house owned by a member of a rival group from the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), triggering a showdown feared to dislocate more villagers.

The arson attack sparked a running firefight between the MILF guerillas and MNLF members in Barangay Kidama, a farming district in Matalam, which forced some 70 families to evacuate.

Captain Tony Bulao, spokesman of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, said the hostilities erupted when followers of MILF leader Alimansur Imbong intruded at an MNLF-controlled farming enclave in Barangay Kidama, shot with an assault rifle a water buffalo owned by Macapagal Mangadta before setting the farmer's house on fire.

Mangadta is a sibling of an MNLF commander also based in Barangay Kidama, according to local officials.

The hostilities erupted amid a local truce between the rival groups brokered by local officials following a spate of attacks  before the May 13 elections by MILF rebels to an MNLF enclave in nearby Barangay Marbel, also in Matalam town.

The hostilities in Barangay Marbel dislocated close to 6,000 villagers, with only about half of them already back in their homes since the others remained reluctant to return due to recurring skirmishes.

“We appeal to the leaders of the MILF and MNLF to discipline their field commanders to avoid unnecessary loss of lives and destruction of properties,” Bulao said in a text messages to reporters.

ALIMANSUR IMBONG BARANGAY KIDAMA BARANGAY MARBEL BULAO CAPTAIN TONY BULAO INFANTRY DIVISION MACAPAGAL MANGADTA MANGADTA MATALAM MORO ISLAMIC LIBERATION FRONT MORO NATIONAL LIBERATION FRONT
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with