COTABATO CITY (PNA) – Two persons died while five others were injured when around 20 gunmen attacked a Moro community on the outskirts of this city before dawn on Wednesday, Jan. 18.
Major Sainodin Benasing, city police Station 3 commander, said the 3 a.m. attack in Purok Pangilan, Barangay Tamontaka 2, resulted in the death of Pacundo Pangilan, 30, and Razul Abdulla, 34, both residents of the area and members of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).
Also injured in the attack were five civilians, including two minors, who were relatives of the slain MNLF members.
Benasing said the gunmen, believed to be from adjacent Datu Odin Sinsuat town in Maguindanao del Norte province, arrived in the barangay and started strafing several houses, mostly owned by the Pangilan clan.
He identified the leader of the attackers as a certain ‘’Sammy’’ from Barangay Bitu, Datu Odin Sinsuat.
Col. Querubin Manalang Jr., city police director, said the gunmen attacked Camp Datu Sumampao Tulawi, a community of MNLF members and their families.
The attackers fled after sensing police and soldiers backed by armored personnel carriers were closing in, Manalang said.
“Rido” (family feud) is being eyed as a possible motive in the attack, he added.
Police and military peacekeepers have been deployed in the area to prevent the escalation of the conflict and ensure the safety of civilians.