7 injured in separate clashes in Philippines south

Authorities say motive believed to be clan rivalry as groups involved have long standing family feuds.

7 injured in separate clashes in Philippines south
World Bulletin / News Desk
 
At least seven people have been injured in two separate clashes between rival gangs in the southern Philippines provinces of Sulu and Maguindanao, the military said Saturday.

An army statement said a firefight had occurred in Barangay (village) Poblacion in Shariff Aguak, Maguindao between groups affiliated to former mayor Akmad Ampatuan and Tamano Mamalapat, a former rebel commander of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

The MILF signed a peace accord with the Philippines government last year.

According to Army 6th Infantry Division spokesperson Major Jo-ann Petinglay, Mamalapat's group reportedly attacked Ampatuan's home at around 9:50 p.m., which led to the firefight.

At least several M-79 grenades were fired near Ampatuan's home, she said, the army responding by sending a platoon to the area to neutralize the fighting between the armed groups.

Meanwhile, a brief firefight between a group of village councilman and Abu Sayyaf broke out in Sulu on Saturday, wounding a government official.

Army spokesperson Capt. Rowena Muyuela said a group of 30 gunmen attacked the group triggering a brief firefight.

"There was no reported casualty from the side of the Abu Sayyaf group, which fled toward the direction of Barangay Bungkaong," she added.

Authorities said the motive behind the two incidents is believed to be clan rivalry as the groups have a long standing family feud in Sulu, while Ampatuan is the former mayor of Datu Salibo town and one of the main witnesses in the 23 Nov. 2009 Maguindanao massacre in which 58 people were killed when an election convoy came under attack by more than 100 armed men.

In December, a rifle grenade was fired at the mansion of Shariff Aguak Mayor Zahara Upam Ampatuan, who has been implicated in the massacre.

Zahara has gone into hiding because of threats to her life, but has denied all charges against her.

 

Last Mod: 10 Ocak 2015, 15:57
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