Philippines: Fighting between Moro groups kills 25

15th Aug 2017
Philippines: Fighting between Moro groups kills 25

By Roy Ramos

 

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (AA): At least 25 people have been killed in fighting between Moro armed men and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in the southern Philippine province of Maguindanao.

Twenty of the fatalities are fighters from the Daesh-linked Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and Jamaatul Mujajideen Wal Ansar, said army spokesman Colonel Gerry Besana as reported by the state-run Philippine News Agency.

Five Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF) members of MILF also were killed while 10 were injured, three of whom are in critical condition and being treated in a military hospital in the province.

Besana said the fighting erupted last August when the militants tried to enter a MILF identified area in Tee village but were asked to leave.

MILF BIAF spokesperson Von Al-Haq said in a radio interview they will fight this group until they are immobilized or no longer visible inside MILF controlled areas.

“This is to free the civilian communities from terror, fear, danger and possible devastation of their places from the hands of this group…Terrorists are the enemy of humankind and their beliefs are beyond the teachings of Islam,” Al-Haq was quoted by Luwaran, the official website of the MILF, as saying.

MILF, a rebel group based in the southern Philippines, signed a peace agreement with the government in March 2014 but has yet to fully implement it.

The military has been working with MILF in the fight against terrorists that pledged allegiance to Daesh.

The entire island of Mindanao, where the province of Maguindanao is located, has been under martial law since May 23 until the year’s end following a siege by another Daesh-linked group in the city of Marawi.

[Map of Philippines showing Maguindanao and Mindanao By Eugene Alvin Villar/Creative Commons]

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