5 killed, 2 in jured as feuding clans clash

Supt. Danilo Bacas, spokesperson of the National Police command of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), has yet to identify the fatalities.

Bacas said they received report from village officials in Laguitan that at least five members from both clans were killed in the renewed hostilities. The report was yet to be validated by the police and town officials. Several others were also reported wounded.

Bacas said the fighting started Thursday afternoon between the families of Tabunaway and Minalang, which both claimed ownership over the vast hectares of coconut lands in Barangay Laguitan, a coastal area in Datu Blah Sinsuat town.

The families have long been at over the coconut land at the boundary of Shariff Kabungsuan and Sultan Kudarat provinces.

Fighting erupted when armed followers of both clans displayed their assault rifles and taunted each other. The battle lasted for about two hours, residents said. At least 20 families evacuated.  

One of the clans was reportedly being supported by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), while the other family was identified with the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).

Local government leaders said the fighting violated the truce signed last month by both clans. (MindaNews)