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Air strike hits boat, kills four kids, mother in Maguindanao


(Update) BUTELIN, Datu Piang, Maguindanao - At least five persons, including four children, were confirmed killed while two others were reported missing during a government air strike conducted Monday in this town. Those killed were identified as Aida Mandi, 23, and her children Bailyn, 10, Zukarudin, 7, Adtayan, 5, and Faida, 2. Aida's husband, 25-year-old Daya Manunggal, and their other son named Keng were reported missing and are believed dead. "Baka duon na yon ililibing," said Panalon Ugkad, referring to the missing two bodies. GMANews.TV was able to obtain photos of the young victims who died in the bomb attack as they were laid out on the floor of a hut. Witnesses said that around seven bangkas were on the river bearing some residents who were fleeing from the fighting when the incident occurred. The Mandi family, they added, were on board one bangka helmed by Manunggal when a bombed allegedly dropped by an OV-10 ground attack plane exploded near the family's small boat while they were paddling at Bugok River. The family was on its way to evacuate here from Barangay Teh, also of this town. The bombing also left others wounded. At the Municipal Health Center, medical personnel were seen tending to Abdullah Ibrahim, 24, who also sustained three shrapnel wounds from a bomb dropped by a plane he named "fighter plane." The residents said it was an OV-10. The bombing was part of the Army's pursuit operations in search of Ameril Ombra Kato, the commander of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front's (MILF) 105th Base Command who was blamed for the alleged attack against civilian communities in Cotabato Province in early August. Col. Julieto Ando, at around 2:00 in the afternoon, said over the telephone that he had yet to receive details regarding the Datu Piang bombing. Ando, the spokesperson of the 6th Infantry Division based at Camp Siongco in Awang, Dinaig, Maguindanao, said: "I am not a field personnel. I have yet to receive reports from the field." TV report A separate television report said that at least six civilians died in the incident. In a report aired by GMA News' Saksi Monday night, the six fatalities were members of the Mandi family. Those who died were said to be the father and five of his children, including an 18-year-old who was pregnant. The report said that a 13-year-old son and his mother survived the attack. The family was on board a bangka when they were killed by bullets.- Romy Elusfa, GMANews.TV
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