About 1,000 families were displaced in Central Mindanao as sporadic clashes between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and Bangsamoro Islamic Freed Fighters (BIFF) continue since last week.

The fight between the two rebel groups, reportedly due to a land dispute and has nothing to do with the Mamasapano overkill, has displaced residents in Pagalungan, Maguindanao and Pikit, North Cotabato, authorities said Monday.

Cynthia Ortega, head of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council in North Cotabato, confirmed that as of 2  p.m. on February 16, the number of displaced families reached 1,702 or more than 8,000 individuals.

The families were brought to two evacuation centers and were provided relief goods and rehabilitation services.

Ortega said that the fighting occurred in Pagalungan town and has already intensified with many villagers affected by the tension between the two Moro groups.

The clash also caused the the death of four MILF members while BIFF lost no fewer than 10 members.

The standoff reportedly started when BIFF bandits, led by Imam Karialan and Gani Saligan, attempted to breach into MILF communities in Barangay Kalbugan and the marshlands at the border of Pagalungan and Pikit town in North Cotabato.

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