6 hurt in mortar blast in Maguindanao town on Sunday

John Unson - Philstar.com
6 hurt in mortar blast in Maguindanao town on Sunday
This satellite image shows Maguindanao province.
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MAGUINDANAO, Philippines — Six villagers, three of them minors, were hurt in a mortar blast in Datu Salibo town Sunday night, the police said Tuesday.

Senior members of the Salibo peace and order council identified the victims as Sarah Mae Tumbre, 8, Shahad Tumbre, 6, Adam Tumbre, 15, Harris Abdulkarim, 36, Kusain Hamdan, 20, and the 44-year-old Nano Mama.

They sustained shrapnel wounds in different parts of their bodies.

The local police, in a report to Police Brig. Gen. Samuel Rodriguez of Police Regional Office-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region, said a mortar round hit the victims' house in Barangay Sambolawan in Datu Salibo.

Isolated barangays in Salibo and in neighboring Maguindanao towns have been locked in a showdown for more than a week now between soldiers and members of the outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, also known as the Dawlah Islamiya.

The group, fashioned after the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, has a reputation for venting its ire on non-military targets either to avenge losses in clashes with state security forces, or as diversionary attacks to disrupt military anti-terror offensives or police law-enforcement operations.

Local officials and traditional leaders said the BIFF has been harassing soldiers in detachments after its members attacked more than a week ago the town proper of Datu Piang, also in Maguindanao province.

Gunmen clad in black attires burned the patrol vehicle of the Datu Piang municipal police and shot at nearby houses before soldiers sent to respond to the attack arrived.



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