MILF, militiamen reposition troops to prevent escalation of conflict

The repositioning was prodded by members of the joint Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH) of the government and the MILF, including local leaders in Maguindanao.

The ceasefire committee expressed fears the fighting could escalate to nearby towns in Maguindanao and Shariff Kabunsuan if not resolved.

The warring groups agreed to move away from the clash site to pave the way for the return of more than 2,000 villagers who were forced to evacuate for fear they might get hit by stray bullets.

The Maguindanao provincial police said the hostilities in Datu Piang broke anew when MILF guerillas, led by Duma Anayatin, raided the areas occupied by militiamen led by Commander Kulnit.

The families of Anayatin and Kulnit have long been at odds over control of lands in several villages in Datu Piang.

The provincial social welfare office, according to Engr. Norie Unas, Maguindanao’s provincial administrator, has already distributed relief goods to evacuees temporarily housed at the Poblacion in Datu Piang. (MindaNews)

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