Maguindanao

7 killed, 6 hurt in latest Maguindanao clash

Rommel Rebollido
7 killed, 6 hurt in latest Maguindanao clash
Wednesday's encounter is the latest in a series of bloody incidents in various towns in Maguindanao this June that include clashes and ambuscades

GENERAL SANTOS CITY, Philippines – Seven people, including a commander of a Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) group, were killed while six others were wounded when an armed group engaged authorities in a firefight in Maguindanao province on Wednesday, June 22.

Police also arrested four suspects after the exchange of firepower in the village of Mileb in Rajah Buaya town, said Lieutenant Colonel Ernor Melgarejo, assistant director of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

Melgarejo said the police went to the village to arrest a fugitive identified as Torque Utto Latip, long wanted for murder and a string of other crimes.

Instead, the authorities were greeted with firepower, prompting them to fire back.

Police said Latip was killed during the fierce encounter.

Police said one of the seven killed was Haron Akmad, an MILF field commander under the Front’s 105th Base Command. 

One of the wounded was a policeman from the Philippine National Police’s Regional Mobile Force Battalion.

Melgarejo said authorities seized several high-powered guns and ammunition that included two caliber .50 Barrett rifles, Garand rifles, a grenade launcher, an M16 and M14 rifles, an M203 rifle, and a 9-millimeter submachine gun.

Wednesday’s encounter was the latest in a series of bloody incidents in various towns in Maguindanao this June that included clashes and ambuscades.

The escalating tensions and violence have already resulted in bloodshed and evacuations, prompting the police in the BARMM and the MILF to step up security along sections of a highway. – Rappler.com