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Two dead, four wounded in separate gun battle of warring clans in S. Philippines

(Xinhua)

09:01, April 10, 2012

COTABATO, Philippines, April 9 (Xinhua) -- At least two people were killed while four others wounded in separate clan wars in the restive southern Philippines,officials said on Monday.

In the township of Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao province, fighting broke out between Commander Routine of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Movement and Commander Utoc of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front's 118th Base Command in the village of Damalibi on Sunday around 10:40 a. m.

The 100-strong BIFM is a breakaway of the MILF.

Senior Superintendent Marcelo Pintac, provincial police commander, said Monday the 45-minute fighting displaced 27 families and left one dead on the side of Routine while two wounded on the camp of Utok.

"It's land conflict. They only stopped fighting after members of the International Monitoring Team intervened," Pintac said.

In the town of Arakan in North Cotabato, the military reported on same day one dead in clashes that broke out between armed men led by Alex Bunsaron and village chieftain Alejandro Canete in remote village of Camboadia .

Killed in the fighting was Norman Callusis while two others were injured.

Col. Prudencio Asto, 6th Infantry Division Public Affairs chief, said North Cotabato Governor Emmylou Mendoza already formed a Crisis Management Team to resolve the land dispute between Bunsaron and Canete.

In Mindanao , clan war is common among warring clans and sometimes the hostilities could last for decades until a peace pact is reached by protagonists, usually through mediation by religious leaders and the payment of blood money.

Among major causes include land disputes, particularly those caused by disputed government surveys or ancestral land claims; political rivalries, mostly election-related; crime-related, including murder and proliferation of illegal drugs, competition over resources and businesses.

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