Death toll rose to 11 in Maguindanao fight
AT LEAST 11 persons have been killed in the dispute between members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and supporters of several local officials in Maguindanao province.
Among those killed in the fight that started Sunday morning, and still raging as of Monday, were relatives of the supporters of Maguindanao Governor Esmael Toto Mangundadatu, police and military officials said.
Colonel Prudencio Asto, Army’s 6th Infantry Division spokesman, said that around 150 Mangudadatu supporters led by Mayors Ibrahim, Freddie, and Zajid Mangudadatu clashed with around 100 MILF members under Commander Tautin Salendab at Barangay Tenok, Mangudadatu town.
The Mangudadatu kin and supporters were passing at the said village at around 10 a.m. Sunday to visit a road project in Lutayan, Sultan Kudarat when they were attacked by MILF fighters, reports said.
The reports added that firefight erupted again on Sunday afternoon with at least 10 people killed from Mangudadatu supporters, including Buluan Mayor Ibrahim Mangudadatu’s uncle, Butoh Ali; a certain Alex; Nordz Tontongan; and a certain Talintikan Balabaran.
Director Felicisimo Khu, the chief of the Directorate for Integrated Police Operations in Western Mindanao, identified the other fatalities as Sony Boy Abas, Nords Abas, Tontongan Uyag, and Pananggong Uyag.
The army official said that three others were wounded from Mangudadatu supporters, identified as a certain Lagzab Kalis, Kamaru Alalang, and Omal Guiamat, who were immediately evacuated by their relatives at Quijano Clinic in Tacurong City for treatment.
Asto said that elements of the 33rd Infantry Battalion and additional police forces from Maguindanao Provincial Police Office have been deployed in the area to prevent the fighting between the two groups to escalate further. Anthony Vargas