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Villagers flee fighting in Datu Saudi Ampatuan

John Unson - Philstar.com
Villagers flee fighting in Datu Saudi Ampatuan
This satellite photo shows Datu Saudi Ampatuan in Maguindanao province.
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COTABATO CITY, Philippines — Hundreds of villagers in Barangay Dapiawan, Datu Saudi Ampatuan town abandoned their homes Thursday due to gunfights between two partisan Moro groups armed with rifles and grenade launchers.

The Maguindanao provincial police and the Army’s 6th Infantry Division have dispatched personnel to Barangay Dapiawan to prevent a spillover of the hostilities to barangays nearby.

Local officials and members of the municipal peace and order council told reporters Friday that the conflict involves two groups that supported different mayoral candidates during the May 9 elections.

The Bangsamoro government has sent emergency responders to the area to assess the situation and map out a relief operation for the conflict-stricken Dapiawan residents.
The heavy exchanges of gunfire and grenade blasts on Thursday forced hundreds of villagers to evacuate to safer areas for fear of getting trapped in the crossfire.

DATU SAUDI AMPATUAN

MAGUINDANAO

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