436 families displaced in Midsayap fighting

MIDSAYAP, North Cotabato (MindaNews / 23 Sept) – At least 436 families from five barangays have been displaced due to fighting between government forces and members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in remote villages of this municipality that has already claimed the lives of at least five people.

Capt. Antonio Bulao, spokesperson of the 602nd Infantry Brigade, said three government soldiers were killed in action in clashes that started before dawn Monday.

Jessie Enid, executive assistant of the provincial governor, said two civilians were also killed.

Enid reported that 191 families are now staying in Barangay Salunayan Elementary School, 165 in Bual Norte, 30 in Agriculture and 50 in Poblacion 6.

The evacuees were from barangays Malingao, Palongoguen, Nes, Mudseng and Sitio Bobonao of Barangay Agriculture.

Dozens of families are also in Dilangalen Elementary School but no exact number yet has been given, said Enid.

The Mindanao Human Rights Action Center (MinHRAC) reported that barangay officials have provided the evacuees with lunch and potable drinking water. School facilities such as day care center, function hall and the classrooms have been opened for the displaced persons’ use, the group added.