COTABATO CITY, Maguindanao: Two people were killed on Thursday morning after 30 heavily armed men attacked a coastal village in Cotabato City then burned several houses and motorboats before leaving the area.
Senior Supt. Rex Anongos, Cotabato City police director, said the gunmen arrived on two motorboats and opened fire on the village.
“The suspects remained unidentified as of the moment, we are still investigating,” Anongos said.
Several families have fled to nearby villages for fear that the gunmen will return.
The motive of the gunmen may be traced to a family feud involving the fishpond owner and the attackers, Anongos added.
The military reported similar findings.
Capt. Jo-ann Petinglay, spokesperson for the 6th Infantry Division, identified the slain civilians as Pasandalan and Guia Akmad—all supporters of the Karim family.
She added that a certain Teng Akmad was also wounded in the attack.
Petinglay told The Manila Times that there are several casualties from the Ayunan family, and two houses owned by Tua Kaharudin and Iso Makasasa were also torched by the gunmen.
There were no reports of arrests, but it was noted that the attack occurred three days after gunmen ambushed five people, including a child,—all from the Ayunan family—in Dulangan village in Datu Odin Sinsuat town in Maguindanao province near Cotabato.
Several men were intercepted by the Special Forces and are now being interrogated by investigators, Anongos confirmed.
No individuals or groups claimed responsibility for the attacks. Authorities are yet to determine both the identity of suspects and their motives for the attack.
After the incident, Army Special Force Battalion members were deployed in Barangay Kalanganan Dos, Cotabato City, the Cotabato City police director further said.