Clash erupts in Maguindanao after Misuari supporters block road project
John Unson (Philstar.com) - November 22, 2015 - 7:03pm

MAGUINDANAO, Philippines - Soldiers on Sunday gunned down a follower of fugitive Nur Misuari and wounded five others for disrupting a road concreting project in Sultan Mastura town in Maguindanao.

The hostilities erupted when the group of Commander Kamlon of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) opened fire on soldiers escorting construction workers to the project site in Barangay Bungabong near the southern coast of Sultan Mastura.

Kamlon and his men belong to an MNLF faction known for its loyalty to the group’s founder, Misuari, now wanted for leading a bloody revolt in Zamboanga City in September 2013.

Kamlon’s group is opposed to the implementation of a multi-million road project designed to connect their enclaves to trading centers in nearby barangays.

In contrast with the attitude of Kamlon and his men, forces of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in Sultan Mastura supports the ongoing construction of costly arterial road networks meant to hasten the socioeconomic development of local peasant communities.

Geared for combat, Kamlon and his men on Sunday first barred construction workers from getting close to the project site and even forced them to leave.

The workers returned with a team of soldiers from the 37th Infantry Battalion, which the recalcitrant MNLF men engaged in a firefight.

The soldiers and Kamlon’s group fought a running firefight that lasted for more than five hours, according to barangay officials.

Two soldiers were wounded in the ensuing encounter, which waned only when Kamlon and his followers ran out of ammunition and scampered away.

There are talks circulating purporting that Kamlon’s group was asking for “protection money” from the contractor of the road project in exchange for the free movement of workers at the site.

The Sultan Mastura municipal peace and order council is now trying to resolve the incident peacefully to ensure the completion of the road project.

ACIRC BARANGAY BUNGABONG COMMANDER KAMLON OF THE MORO NATIONAL LIBERATION FRONT INFANTRY BATTALION KAMLON MAGUINDANAO MISUARI MORO ISLAMIC LIBERATION FRONT NUR MISUARI SULTAN MASTURA ZAMBOANGA CITY
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