2 injured in a skirmish between two warring groups in N. Cotabato

Posted on June 08, 2013

KORONADAL -- Armed members of warring clans in the hinterlands of Pikit, North Cotabato clashed on Thursday displacing local residents and injuring two persons, the local police said.

Herberto M. Paculanang, deputy chief of police of nearby Aleosan town, said in a radio interview on Friday that the fight was triggered by a longstanding land dispute between a clan with members of civilian volunteers organizations and the clan of Commanders Kuyo and Nasser of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front’s (MILF) 105th base command.

The local police office and the local government unit are still confirming reported number of families affected by the conflict. Anwar Esamel, a third year high school student was hit by a bullet while tending to his carabao near the conflict area, the police said. Also wounded was Rafani Sahban, said to be a member of one of the two warring factions.

Mr. Paculanang confirmed on Friday that members of 7th Infantry Battalion (IB) and 40th IB were deployed to guard the conflict area and help Pikit town officials to resolve the conflict between the two groups.

The conflict between and among groups are considered by the government and the MILF as one of the challenges in attaining peace in this part of Mindanao. The MILF and the government are currently negotiating for a lasting peace on the island. -- LOPacardo