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Residents told to abandon homes amid ongoing firefight

By: Doris C. Bongcac April 11,2017 - 01:35 PM

CEBU CITY–The Inabanga municipal government has ordered a forced evacuation of residents in Barangay Napo due to the ongoing gun battle between government troopers and armed men believed to be members of the Abu Sayyaf Group.

Frank Baylosis, Inabanga information officer, said in a phone interview that barangay officials went house-to-house to convince residents to “abandon their homes and move to a safer place” on Tuesday morning.

Baylosis said forced evacuation was also recommended in the adjacent villages of Canlinte and Maria Rosario.

(READ: Armed men sighted in Bohol town; Firefight with govt troops ongoing)

Baylosis said the still unidentified armed men entered their town through the Napo River and traveled about two to three kilometers inland to the mountain village of Napo.

Residents, who spotted the armed group, reported their presence to the police.

“Ang mga barangay opisyales amo nang gi mobilize para force evacuation tungod sa ongoing ground operations,” he said.

(READ: Nine killed in firefight between govt forces and suspected members of Abu Sayyaf)

Baylosis said evacuees were now taking temporary shelter in barangay halls and sports centers of neighboring barangays.

Baylosis said he still could not give a headcount of the evacuees because town employees were still on field to facilitate their evacuation and take care of their meals.

The municipal government already deployed personnel to send packed meals and canned goods for the evacuees’ lunch.

“We could not bring everyone packed lunch because the incident happened so fast,” said Baylosis. Inabanga town is consist of 50 barangays and is located about 71 kilometers north of Tagbilaran City. It is also one hour away by pump boat to Cebu City.

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TAGS: army, bohol, Cebu, Firefight, Inabanga, Napo, residents

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