Groups clash in Maguindanao poll center; 2 die
MANILA, Philippines (2nd UPDATE) - Two persons were killed after armed supporters of 2 vice-mayoralty candidates clashed at a polling center in Kabuntalan, Maguindanao province before noon Monday.
Major Randolph Cabangbang, spokesman of the Armed Forces' Eastern Mindanao Command, said one of the fatalities was an former barangaychairman, who is a known supporter of mayoralty candidate Abutazil Zainuddin.
Cabangbang said that the shootout between the supporters of Kabuntalan vice-mayoralty bets Bhernie Amolintao and Muslimim Guiama took place at a polling center in Barangay Kapimpilan around 11:50 a.m..
He said voting was suspended at the barangay as frightened voters scampered to safety.
Police and military troops have been dispatched to pacify the situation in the village.
Meanwhile, voting was also suspended in Barangay Sambulawan in Datu Salibo town due to a shooting incident.
The military said a group launched grenades, hitting a line of trees near a police station in Barangay Sambulawan.
A road connecting Datu Salibo and Datu Piang town has been closed due to the incident.
Earlier, 2 motorcycle-riding men lobbed a grenade near a polling area in Barangay Poblacion, Shariff Aguak town.
Reports said voters lining up to vote at the polling area ran for safety, suspending the voting process. -- Reports from Noel Alamar, radio dzMM and Gus Abelgas and Jorge Cariño, ABS-CBN News