Villagers flee Philippines violence

News and Press Release
Originally published
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Shirley Escalante, Manila

Villagers in the southern Philippines province of Maguindanao are reportedly fleeing because of a new outbreak of violence.

Maguindanao was placed under martial rule for eleven days in November, after the massacre of more than 50 people, including journalists, in the province.

An additional 2,000 troops will be deployed to Maguindanao province to protect civilians.

A grenade attack and reports of about a hundred rebels belonging to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front massing near the provincial capital have prompted villagers to flee their homes.

The rebel leaders denied reports of a planned attack.

They said authorities should instead watch out for militiamen associated with the former provincial governor who may be behind the recent incidents of violence and harassment.

Australian Broadcasting Corporation