Guerrillas from the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) captured nine farmers and shot them dead on Dec. 24 in the southern island of Mindanao, said Colonel Ricky Bunayog, commander of the local battalion.

 

Some of the bodies were not found till two days later, the military source told AFP.

 

Also on Christmas eve, the BIFF launched an attack on a village in Pigcawayan town, some 900 kilometers (560 miles) south of Manila, that left a district official dead, the colonel added.

 

Six guerrillas were killed and eight wounded in fighting which lasted three days, although only one body was recovered, Bunayog added.

 

The raids have stoked fear in Mindanao where Christians are the majority but which the country’s Muslim minority claims as their ancestral homeland.

 

“Since (Saturday), it has been quiet. But the damage has been done. People on the outskirts are scared and at night, they move to the center of the town,” sleeping in the local gymnasium, he said.

 

“I tell them we have enough security forces but they are too scared,” he added.

 

 

 

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