North Cot villagers flee homes as soldiers, MILF clash anew

Alamada Mayor Ernesto Concepcion said hundreds of villagers have temporarily sought refuge at their relatives’ houses at nearby villages in order not to be caught in a crossfire.

Two mortars were fired and landed near a residential area of the village, surprising the villagers and sending them into panic and fear, especially among elderly and children in the area.

Only recently, four children were injured when a mortar shell exploded and landed in the public market of Barangay Dado in Alamada.

That incident also forced about 300 villagers to move to safer grounds following the clashes that ensued between the military and the MILF.

Triple red alert status was being observed since last week in both Pigcawaran and Dado villages due to the presence of the armed men in the mountainous areas.

Elements of the Army's 68th Infantry Battalion and the Pigcawaran PNP were being deployed in two villages to secure the place including the residents' belongings and farm animals.

Mayor Concepcion appealed to both government forces and suspected MILF guerrillas not to harm civilians in the area.

The mayor also assured assistance to the evacuees. (Williamor A. Magbanua / MindaNews contributor)