ZAMBOANGA CITY – Four people were wounded in a clash between two feuding Muslim clans in Basilan, an army spokesman said.
The fighting broke out in the village of Bohe Lebong in Tipo-Tipo town and lasted more than an hour, according to Captain Jefferson Somera, of the 1st Infantry Division.
Somera said the clashes between the groups of village councilman Ustadz Haider Haya and Saham Mohammad panicked residents. “We have deployed troops in the town to prevent the escalation of hostilities. This is a family feud,” he told The Manila Times.
The wounded villagers were identified as Tutuna Kadapi, Kamal Mohammad, Norhada Kadil and Iyob Isnain. It was not immediately known if the wounded belong to any of the warring clans.
General Felicito Trinidad, the regional Army commander, warned warring clans to stop the fighting or face arrest.
Somera said troops remain in the town on Thursday to protect civilians. “Troops will remain in the area and are closely working with local police forces to protect the villagers from harm,” he said.
Clan wars are not uncommon in the southern Philippines. In July, at least 12 people were killed and wounded in fierce clashes between two warring Muslim families in Lanao del Sur province.
The protagonists – Capal and Macugar families – crossed paths in the village of Linao in Bayang town and started shooting at each other. The fighting lasted almost an hour, leaving four people dead and two wounded on the side of the Capal family and three dead and three wounded from the Macugar family.
The clashes only stopped after security forces arrived and separated the two groups. Troops helped recovered the dead and turned them over to their families.
It was not immediately known if the military or police arrested any of the leaders or followers of the two families. But among those killed were Hajji Naim Capal and Latip Capal, who were reportedly clan leaders.