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Villagers flee from gunfight

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COTABATO CITY — About 200 villagers fled as two rival groups of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) clashed in a secluded area in the village of Meta in Datu Unsay, Maguindanao del Sur on Wednesday morning.

Police and military authorities on Thursday urged the warring factions under Commanders Panzo and Tunga to reconcile and avert more bloodshed.

The gunfight between the groups of Panzo, a senior member of the Muslim group’s 118th Base Command, and Tunga from the 105th Base Command sent residents running for their lives.

Senior police officials in Maguindanao del Sur and local executives told reporters followers of the two MILF commanders, who are squabbling for control of strategic patches of land in Meta, disengaged when they sensed that responding policemen and soldiers were closing in. — John Felix M. Unson

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