Sunday Jul, 14 2024 07:36:59 PM

Hundreds displaced as 2 MILF groups clash in Maguindanao del Sur

Mindanao Armed Conflict • 13:15 PM Thu Jun 20, 2024
1
By: 
John Felix Unson
Owners try to salvage valuables from a house that was set ablaze by gunmen in Barangay Meta, Datu Unsay, Maguindanao del Sur after members of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) clashed. (Photo from Peace Security and Reconciliation Office-BARMM)

COTABATO CITY - Some 200 villagers have fled to neutral grounds as two rival groups in the Moro Islamic Liberation Front clashed and reportedly set houses on fire in a secluded area in Barangay Meta in Datu Unsay, Maguindanao del Sur on Wednesday morning. 

Brig. Gen. Prexy Tanggawohn, director of the Police Regional Office-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region, and Major Gen. Alex Rillera, commander of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, on Thursday morning urged the central committee of the MILF to reconcile Commanders Panzo and Tunga to preclude more clashes between them that can displace more innocent villagers. 

The groups of Panzo, who is a senior member of the MILF’s  118th Base Command, and Tunga, one of the commanders in the front’s 105th Base Command, figured in running gunfights in Sitio Irrigation in Barangay Meta in Datu Unsay early Wednesday, sending innocent Moro villagers running for their lives.

Senior police officials in Maguindanao del Sur and local executives told reporters followers of the two MILF commanders, locked in intense political differences and squabbling for control of strategic patches of lands in Barangay Meta, had set several houses on fire before they disengaged when they sensed that responding policemen and soldiers were closing in.

The villagers displaced by the incident are now in a covered court in the municipality while others have sought refuge in houses of relatives in barangays nearby. 

 

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