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1 dead, 200 displaced as armed groups clash in Philippines

(Xinhua)

10:27, November 28, 2011

DAVAO CITY, Philippines, Nov. 27 (Xinhua) -- One person was killed and at least 200 others fled their homes as fighting erupted between gunmen loyal to a former rebel commander and his ex-comrades in the southern Philippines on Saturday, the military said Sunday.

One gunman was killed and three others were wounded following the clash between the group of a certain Sukarno and fighters of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front's (MILF) 108th Base Command led by a certain Jun Panangulon in Dungos village, Tulunan town, North Cotabato province, according to Colonel Leopoldo Galon, spokesperson of the military's Eastern Mindanao Command.

About 89 families left their homes and sought shelter to the Tulunan town gymnasium as the fighting between the two groups -- with hundreds of gunmen among them -- flared up around 5 a.m. Saturday, Galon said.

"Sukarno is a former member of the MILF but now works as security officer for the Florista banana plantation (in the area). All the four casualties were members of his militia," Galon said, adding the military was providing security to civilians in the area to prevent them from being caught in the crossfire.

The MILF has been fighting government troops for decades to establish a self-rule Muslim sub-state in the south of the predominantly Catholic country.

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