8 Killed as Moro Rebels Attack, Occupy Villages

Article excerpt

Eight people were killed when rebels belonging to a Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) group seized five communities in Maguindanao and Sultan Kudarat last Wednesday after it declared a unilateral ceasefire.

Maj. Randolph Cabangbang, spokesman of Eastern Mindanao Command (EasMinCom), said that some 300 Moro rebels attacked last Tuesday Barangays Midtungok and Kiadsam, Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Sultan Kudarat.

Cabangbang said that the Moro rebels were led by Guiabar Datu Kali, alias "Commander 511" or "Commander Maxs4" and four other unidentified leaders of the MILF's 104th Base Command. "The 601st (Infantry) Brigade already launched combat operations in the area.

They have also requested an air strike against the rebels," Cabangbang said. He said that the occupation of the villages was similar to what the MILF rebels did in North Cotabato last August. This prompted then the military to launch an intensified pursuit operation against the 105th Base Command under commander Ameril Umbra Kato. Col. Julieto Ando, spokesman of the Army's Sixth Infantry Division, said that lawless Moro groups also attacked Barangay Midtungok, Senator Ninoy Aquino, also in Sultan Kudarat, where six civilians were killed last Tuesday night. …