MILF hands over 6 soldiers arrested in SK province

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/15 Feb) – The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) handed over to the government peace panel six more soldiers they arrested last week at a rebel checkpoint in a town in Sultan Kudarat province.

The soldiers, all elements of the 10th Infantry Division operating in Columbio, Sultan Kudarat, were placed under MILF custody for four days.

According to MILF spokesman Eid Kabalu, the soldiers were caught tailing him and Toks Ibrahim of the MILF ceasefire committee while they were on their way to a village in Columbio town to conduct local peace talks.

The soldiers, clad in civilian clothes, were armed with handguns and two grenades when the Moro rebels accosted them at Barangay Polomolok, Columbio last Saturday.

Kabalu alleged that the soldiers were trying to “penetrate” areas where localized peace talks were ongoing.

The local talks, he explained, were part of the ongoing peace talks between the government and the MILF, which resumed on February 9 in Kuala Lumpur.

Kabalu formally turned over the soldiers, including their pistols and explosives, to the International Monitoring Team (IMT) based in Cotabato City today.

The arrest of government troopers last Feb 12 was the second this week, according to reports.

On Feb. 8, the MILF also arrested two military intelligence agents of the 6th Infantry Division caught roaming around Camp Darapanan in Sultan Kudarat town in Maguindanao. They were also handed over to the IMT days later. (Malu Cadeliña Manar / MindaNews)

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