One killed, hundreds flee as armed gang shell army outpost in S. Philippines

12:37, July 09, 2010      

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One person was killed and hundreds of families fled their homes as fighting between soldiers and an armed gang erupted in southern Philippines on Thursday, a regional military official on Friday said.

A three-year old boy died and six other civilians were injured when some 50 armed men harassed an army detachment in the boundary of Datu Piang town, in Maguindanao province and Pikit town, in nearby North Cotabato province, Lieutenant Colonel Randolph Cabangbang, spokesperson for the military's Eastern Command told Xinhua by text message.

"The gunmen led by a certain Tata Uy started assaulting government positions at 11:45 a.m, firing mortar and assault rifles. But two rounds from an 81-mm mortar fired by the attackers towards the detachment of the army's 29th Infantry Battalion in Datu Piang overshot and landed to a civilian community in Pikit causing death and injuries," Cabangbang said, adding the suspects were driven away at around 5:45 p.m.

Local officials said a land dispute between the attackers and another group may have triggered the incident and that negotiations were now being conducted.

Source: Xinhua


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