At least 600 Moro families flee as clan war erupts in Maguindanao

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Oct 15, 2019): At least 600 Moro families flee as clan war erupts in Maguindanao

Datu Montawal government workers distribute relief goods to some 600 families displaced by armed hostilities triggered by territorial dispute between two MILF leaders. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

At least 600 families fled from their homes in Maguindanao town after warring clans started trading bullets on Monday, police and military authorities said.

Classes were suspended at the Balogo Elementary School in Barangay Dungguan, Datu Montawal town in Maguindanao after two warring armed groups started shooting at each other over a territorial dispute.

Balogo Elementary School principal Eskak Esmael said classes remained suspended today, Tuesday, while tension remained high in the village.

Almost 600 families fled to safer grounds, most of them taking refuge at the Datu Montawal town center.

Classes were also suspended in Matalam Farm Resettlement Elementary School in Datu Montawal and Mamalimping Elementary School in the adjacent town of Pagalungan, also in Maguindanao.

Brig. Gen. Alfredo Rosario Jr., 602nd Infantry Brigade commander, said an amicable settlement had been reached between the warring families facilitated by the government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) ceasefire committee on Sunday.

However, both sides violated the agreement and started shooting at each other again the next day. The protagonists were both MILF members.

The military launched artillery fires on Monday afternoon to separate the warring groups.

Rosario said it was a “rido” (clan war) involving MILF members.

MILF leaders have been trying to reach out to warring parties for them to disengage and allow the evacuees to return home.

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