Tuesday Mar, 28 2023 03:27:49 AM

 2 dead, 6 hurt in Cotabato City, Maguindanao Norte gunfights

Mindanao Armed Conflict • 15:15 PM Wed Jan 18, 2023
John M. Unson
The police and Army ilitary are together securing Cotabato City and nearby towns. (John Unson) 

COTABATO CITY - Two were killed while six others were hurt in separate gunfights here and in nearby Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao del Norte between late Tuesday and before dawn Wednesday.

Col. Querubin Manalang, director of the Cotabato City Police Office, told reporters Wednesday two members of the Moro National Liberation Front were killed while five others were hurt when men armed with assault rifles from Barangay Bitu in Datu Odin Sinsuat town attacked their village in Barangay Tamontaka 2 here early Wednesday, sparking a gunfight.

“Our personnel who went to the scene of the encounter to investigate found out that two MNLF members were killed while five more were wounded in the encounter,” Manalang said.

He said the group that attacked the MNLF’s enclave in Barangay Tamontaka 2 was led by a certain Sammy, who has enemies in the area.

Manalang declined to reveal the names of the MNLF fatalities and their wounded companions due to possible retaliations by relatives residing in Datu Odin Sinsuat against their attackers from the municipality once they would know.

Manalang said investigators are still trying to determine what precipitated the deadly gunfight in Barangay Tamontaka 2 that waned only after Sammy and his followers scampered away when they sensed that responding policemen were closing in.

The incident was preceded by sporadic exchanges of gunfire that lasted for about two hours on Tuesday night between two heavily armed groups in Barangay Sapalan in Datu Odin Sinsuat, about 25 kilometers south of this city.

In a report to the Police Regional Office-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region Wednesday, the Datu Odin Sinsuat Municipal Police Station said a 65-year-old villager named Edna Pablo Urbano was wounded in the crossfire as the two groups, one led by Mohaimin Abas and the other by Eden Mantawil, traded shots.

Traditional Moro elders and local officials told reporters the duo are locked in a deep-seated political dispute. 


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