Conflict displaces 24,000 in Maguindanao
DAVAO CITY, Philippines - A total of 5,130 families or 24,755 residents of Maguindanao province in southern Philippines were displaced by the ongoing conflict between government troops and members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).
The residents fled their homes fearing they would get caught in the middle of the gunfire, according to Commodore Romeo Santiago Nebres, spokesman of the military’s Eastern Mindanao Command.
The displaced residents came from the towns of Datu Unsay (5,155), Shariff Aguak (1,895), Ampatuan (5,360), Guindolungan (2,725), Datu Saudi Ampatuan (5,325), and Datu Abdullah Sangki (4,295).
About half of them (11,480) are now staying in evacuation centers. The rest (13,275) have taken shelter with their relatives.
The skirmishes started Sunday evening, August 5, when members of the BIFF simultaneously attacked at least 5 military installments in Maguindanao.
Nebres said the local government units, the Department of Social Welfare and Development, various non-governmental organizations and the military are now working together to provide aid and support to the affected residents. - Rappler.com