Asianews

Strong winds destroy houses, rice fields

COTABATO CITY, Philippines — Nine Dawlah Islamiya terrorists were killed, while six others were wounded in a series of encounters with combatants of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in Pagalungan, Maguindanao del Sur over the weekend.

The clashes also resulted in eight fatalities on the side of the MILF, a former Muslim secessionist group that has entered into a peace pact with the government.

After sensing that an MILF reinforcement was approaching, the military said the terrorists shot dead five persons including a brother of a village official, a minor and three others in Barangay Dalgan to mislead the MILF backup.

The terrorists escaped through the Liguas an Delta in several boats.

Local officials including Vice Mayor Abdillah Mamasabulod and village leaders yesterday confirmed to journalists and Bangsamoro police that the skirmishes occurred in Barangay Dalgan and nearby areas.

The clashes erupted following an attack by MILF fighters on a local Dawlah Islamiya faction, in support o f the Army’s efforts to neutralize the terrorists.

Maj. Gen. Alex Rillera, chief of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, said he received reports that MILF fighters had neutralized nine terrorists over the weekend.

The MILF counterterrorism operation was reportedly conducted in coordination with the police and military.

An official of the Pagalungan peace and order council said the operation against the Dawlah Islamiya was reportedly led by Akmad Abas, a member of the 80-seat Bangsamoro parliament and chief of the MILF’s Eastern Mindanao Group.

Police said the terrorists carried with them the bodies of their slain comrades as they escaped from the scene of the encounters.

The identities of the slain MILF fighters were not immediately available.

MANILA, Philippines — Two persons were wounded in a shooting incident sparked by a quarrel among street gamblers in San Mateo, Rizal on Sunday.

Fideleo Reyes and Larry James Reyes were playing cara y cruz with the suspect, identified as alias Borado, when they figured in a spat in Barangay Silangan.

To prevent the quarrel from getting worse, the Reyeses decided to go home.

The suspect followed the victims and allegedly shot them in front of their house.

The victims were taken to a hospital for treatment of gunshot wounds.

A manhunt was launched for the suspect.

COTABATO CITY, Philippines — Up to 82 houses and more than a hundred hectares of rice fields were destroyed by strong winds that battered four villages in Kabacan, Cotabato over the weekend.

The Kabacan municipal disaster risk reduction and management office along with Army troopers and emergency responders from the provincial government assisted families displaced by the calamity.

Kabacan Mayor Evangeline Pascua-Guzman said the municipal government has yet to assess the extent of damage in the villages of Katidtuan, Lower Paatan, Malamote and Osias as well as in other areas in the municipality.

“No one was hurt, but many houses were destroyed and several families were left homeless in the aftermath of the calamity,” Guzman said.

She said the local government’s emergency response operations in Katidtuan, Lower Paatan, Malamote and Osias are being assisted by the office of the governor.

The winds also destroyed farms in Kabacan, tagged as the rice granary of Cotabato.

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