MILF attacks NCotabato town

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SHARIFF AGUAK, Maguindanao: The military has tagged the commander of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) as the one who led the guerrillas that attacked the group of the Citizens Armed Forces Geographical Unit (Cafgu) militiamen guarding the remote Barangay Bualan in Pikit, North Cotabato on Thursday.

The guerrillas attacked Sitio Valencia in Barangay Bualan that sent hundreds of villagers in panic and running for their safety.

Capt. Arvin Encinas, spokesman and public affairs chief of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division (6ID), said both local officials and barangay (village) residents have confirmed that it was Abdulrashid Ali, also known as “Command RP,” who led the attack.

“This Command RP belongs to the 105th Base Command of the MILF,” Encinas said, citing reports by displaced residents.


Ali, a senior MILF commander lost two of his followers during the firefight with the barangay tanod (village watchmen) and local members of the CAFGU in an encounter in the same area early this year, triggered allegedly by an attempt to rob farmers of cattle foraging in open fields.

Sitio Valencia is located near the border of Pikit and Aleosan towns, both in the 1st district of North Cotabato.
Although outnumbered, the village watchmen and CAFGUs confronted Ali’s group, forcing them to withdraw carrying three wounded fighters.

Note that there is an existing interim accord between the government and the MILF based on the July 1997 Agreement on General Cessation of Hostilities, binding both to resolve peacefully security issues besetting areas where there is a presence of rebel groups.

Meanwhile, Abu Misri Mama, spokesman of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) has denied their group’s involvement in the recent harassment in Pikit.

Encinas added Army units in Pikit and Aleosan are now guarding the conflict-affected village to prevent a repeat of the incident.

The North Cotabato provincial police office also tightened security in areas vulnerable to attacks by the group of Ali and several police teams deployed in the localities accessible for any future incursions by the guerrillas.

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