Monday, January 25, 2010

Muslim farmer killed after attacking army soldier in Maguindanao province

COTABATO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / January 25, 2010) – A government soldier was wounded after a farmer whom he tried to arrest for carrying a sickle near a checkpoint attacked him in the southern Philippines.

Other soldiers also manning the checkpoint fatally shot the farmer in Maguindanao’s Datu Piang town. The military blamed the country’s largest Muslim rebel group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, in the weekend attack. It said the man was a member of the MILF, an accusation strongly denied by the rebel group.

“The MILF has nothing to do with the attack. The reports we have received said the soldier was trying to arrest the farmer and confiscate his sickle which he was using in his farm. Apparently an altercation ensued and for a still unknown reason, the farmer attacked and wounded the soldier. The farmer was later killed by soldiers,” Eid Kabalu, a senior MILF leader, told the independent regional newspaper, the Mindanao Examiner.

Military officials could not be immediately reached to comment on the reports.

Maguindanao, one of five provinces under the Muslim autonomous region, is under a state of emergency after the brutal murder of 57 people, including at least 31 journalists on November 23 in Ampatuan town.

A scion of the powerful political clan, Andal Ampatuan Jr., the mayor of Datu Unsay, allegedly led the killings. Among those murdered were the wife and two sisters and supporters of Esmael Mangudadatu, the vice mayor of Buluan town who is running for governor of Maguindanao – a position being held by the mayor’s father and namesake, Andal Ampatuan Sr. - in the May elections. (Mindanao Examiner)

No comments: