• MILF-MNLF skirmishes erupt anew

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    MATALAM, North Cotabato: Fresh fighting broke out after less than a week when a band of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) elements from the 108th Base Command under a certain Tamano Naig attacked the residence of the local Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) chieftain and a sugar mill truck yard in Barangay Kilada here.

    The fighting flared for 15 minutes, then, MILF withdrew its attackers in Sitio Mateo of the same municipality.

    A Malaysian-led International monitoring team with the police and military keeping tabs on remote villages in the area witnessed the recent MILF-MNLF clashes.

    The Army’s 6th Infantry Division said MILF troops started the hostilities.

    Col. Dickson Hermoso of the 6th Infantry “Kampilan” Division said that armed members of the 108th Base Command of the MILF attacked the residence of MNLF chair Datu Dima Ambel in Barangay Kilada, North Cotabato on Sunday.

    At the same time, the rebels also attacked the truck yard of the Cotabato Sugar Central Corp.

    Hermoso explained that the attack was initiated by MILF who wanted to get back at the opponent rebel-group after they had suffered setbacks since the conflict started on May 5.

    Armed violence resulted in deaths of several combatants from both groups and civilians in crossfire, and about 6,000 residents of the villages were forced to move to safer locations, he added.

    Gov. Emmylou Talino-Mendoza of North Cotabato initiated a local truce on May 23 to initiate a ceasefire between the two groups.

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