COTABATO CITY (MindaNews / 12 September) — A sickly, one-month old baby boy died around 6 pm Monday in an evacuation center where Tedurays have sought refuge after an encounter between suspected terrorists and members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in Datu Hoffer, Maguindanao del Sur on Monday dawn.
Anton Dian, the Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representative in Datu Hoffer said the evacuation could have worsened the condition of the baby, who was suffering from asthma.
Datu Hoffer has a is a mix of Maguindanao and Teduray residents.
At dawn on Monday, members of the ISIS-linked Dawlah Islamiyah clashed with members of the MILF 118th Base Command in Barangay Tuawayan, Datu Hoffer.
Froilyn Mendoza, Member of the Parliament of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao representing the indigenous groups, said the clash forced 24 Teduray households to flee to Barangay Limfongo of the said town.
Col. Oriel Pangcog, commander of the 601st Infantry Brigade said the encounter happened around 5 a.m. on Monday between the group of Abdulnasser Guianid of the Dawlah Islamiyah and MILF 118th Base Command under Saga Malandas.
Pangcog said the encounter lasted almost 30 minutes.
He said both groups escaped toward different directions when troops from the 40th Infantry Battalion arrived.
Town police chief Lt. Albert Pansoy said the area had been cleared by noontime yesterday.
He added two bodies were found and are believed to be those of Dawlah Islamiyah members.
Initial police investigation said a rido or clan war could have triggered the firefight. (Ferdinandh Cabrera/MindaNews)