Friday, October 11, 2013

3 more die as Maguindanao clan war continues

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 12): 3 more die as Maguindanao clan war continues
Three more persons were killed, two others wounded including minors, as infighting between followers of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) continued Friday, authorities said.

Two of the three civilians killed were identified as Ali Nords and Salanggao Andi, both residents of Poblacion Talitay. The third fatality has yet to be identified.

Elements of 68th Infantry Battalion have been deployed to the area to prevent the escalation of armed hostilities involving armed followers of Talitay Mayor Montasir Sabal and Commander Haron Buisan of the 105th base command of the MILF.

The conflict started Thursday with the ambush and killing of three unarmed security personnel of Mayor Sabal in a road leading to Poblacion Talitay.

Sabal was not with the group as he was on a pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

Talitay Vice Mayor Allan Sabal blamed the group of Buisan in the ambush that also left two other Sabal's bodyguards wounded.

Sabal's followers retaliated and engaged the suspects in in a sporadic firefight that sent hundreds of civilians fleeing.

The three civilian fatalities were on board a multi-cab vehicle along with their valuables as they flee for fear of getting caught in a crossfire.

As they approached the borders of Talitay and Datu Anggal towns, they were ambushed by armed men on Friday morning.

Chief Inspector Freddie Solar, Talitay police chief, identified the two wounded victims as Dagadas Salanggao and Kinao Ali Pasawilan.

Solar said both the Sabal and Buisan families are locked in a long standing family feud due to politics. They are both affiliated with the MILF.

Von Al Haq, speaking for the MILF's military arm, said efforts have been underway to "disengage" the warring clans and ensure the security of civilians.

He also appealed to the military not to intervene as the issue is being looked into by the government and MILF ceasefire committee.

As a result of the armed conflict, aspirants for the upcoming barangay elections failed to file their certificates of candidacy with the Commission on Elections office Friday, the first day of filing.

Mary Ann Mangudadatu, Talitay election officer, and her staff were prevented by the police from proceeding to the town proper Friday as the warring clans were still trading bullets.

Comelec personnel tried but failed to proceed to Talitay proper Saturday as fighting was still on going.

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