Friday, May 08, 2009

2 fishers wounded in MILF attack in South RP

COTABATO, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / May 8, 2009) – Suspected Muslim rebels attacked a group of fishermen before dawn Friday and wounding two in the southern Philippines, officials said.

Officials said the rebels were onboard three motorized pump boats when they attacked the coastal village of Kabatiol in Sarangani’s Maasim town at around 3 a.m.

“Two fishermen were wounded in the harassment,” said Army Captain Achilles dela Cruz. He identified the wounded fishermen as Bonifacio Mongosera and Elden Capasas.

“The rebels fired their automatic weapons and grenade launchers indiscriminately at the fishermen who are doing their daily routine at the shoreline of Kabatiol,” he said.

Dela Cruz said soldiers and navy gunboats were sent to the area to help track down the attackers. The MILF has denied the military report.

"We have nothing to do with the attack. There are pirates operating in the town," said Eid Kabalu, a senior MILF leader.

The military has accused the MILF of attacking civilian targets in Mindanao, where security forces have been battling the rebels.

The MILF is the country’s largest Muslim rebel group which is fighting for independence in the troubled region. Rebel forces have recently raided a banana plantation in North Cotabato province, killing at least three people. (Mindanao Examiner)

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