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ILIGAN CITY, Philippines (UPDATED) – Four people, including a child, were killed and 9 wounded in a suspected revenge attack in Lanao del Sur, police said Sunday, April 26.
A group of men opened fire on homes of the Maranaw ethnic group in the town of Wao on Saturday, April 25, said the town’s senior police officer Avelino Vidal.
Vidal said the motive may have been revenge after certain individuals blamed members of the Maranaw community for a recent rape.
Residents of the village are now fleeing in fear of further retaliatory attacks.
Police and troops have been deployed to prevent further violence, authorities said.
Violence between clans in the southern Philippines, locally known as “rido,” has often spiralled out of control, claiming numerous lives before peace is restored.
Such feuds have been sparked by personal grudges, property disputes and political rivalries. They can quickly escalate if armed groups like rebels or criminal gangs get involved.
Appeal for calm
Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Governor Mujiv Hataman appealed for calm in a statement issued Sunday evening.
“We make this appeal as we condemn the reported massacre of four people in Barangay Park Area, which, according to reports, was an act of retribution following an incident of rape on April 23,” Hataman said.
“There is not enough words to describe our grief over these acts of violence that resulted in deaths,” he added.
Hataman said the municipality of Wao is “one of the most progressive towns” in the ARMM “mostly because its Christian and Muslim residents are living and working harmoniously with each other.”
The ARMM governor said he has ordered the police to conduct a probe into the incident. – Rappler.com