DAVAO CITY — Around 3,400 families in three municipalities in Basilan province are displaced as the fighting between government troops and non-state armed groups continues since the first week of July.
The International Committee of the Red Cross said in a news release that the affected families in Tipo-Tipo, Al-Barka and Ungkaya Pukan municipalities have sought refuge with their relatives “after shelling and air strikes occurred on an almost daily basis over the past three weeks.”
“The security situation in Basilan is precarious. We are concerned for the civilians as we expect clashes to continue in the coming weeks,” said Yann Fridez, head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) sub-delegation in Mindanao.
He said casualties and injured fighters were reported on both sides and a few civilians were wounded.
“We urge all parties to the fighting to exercise utmost precaution to minimize the impact or damage to civilian communities. We also ask them to spare civilian structures such as hospitals, schools and houses, and facilities that are essential for their daily lives,” he said.
The ICRC and the Philippine Red Cross have distributed relief goods to more than 17,000 displaced people. (davaotoday.com)