Suara condemns bombing of MNLF camp in Sulu

“Around 1 a.m. the Marines fired at least 28 howitzer rounds at Camp Marang in Barangay Cagay, Indanan where the group of MNLF state chairman Khaid Ajibon camped,” Lidasan said in a text message.

She said that the “bombing is a sign of insincerity on the part of the GRP. It only shows the government’s double-talk in dealing with the conflict.”

Lidasan stressed that the incident should be included as an agenda in the tripartite meeting on May 26-29 as a violation. “The situation of the displaced families should be attended to,” Lidasan added.

Earlier reports said government forces pounded a suspected lair of the Abu Sayyaf in Sulu, resulting to the wounding of one soldier and a still undetermined number of casualties on the rebel side.

Brig. Gen. Juancho Sabban, commander of Joint Task Force Comet, said government troops fired several artillery and mortar rounds at a stronghold of the Abu Sayyaf and Jemaah Islamiyah at Sitio Kandinamon, Marang village in Indanan town.

He said the government assault began Tuesday midnight with troops seizing the rebel lair about 7 a.m. Wednesday.

Sabban clarified that the extremists' camp was far from the camp of MNLF commander Ajibon, but they thought that the military was after them.

Lidasan alleged that reports coming from the area “indicate that howitzers were fired at Camp Marang where MNLF State Chairman Ajibon camped.”

She said that after the shelling of the camp “the ground troops entered the camp where seven government troops were killed and around 10 families were already displaced.” (Antonio M. Manaytay / MindaNews contributor)