14 DEAD IN TAUSUG-MARANAO WAR

Zamboanga City, Jan. 27, 2003 - At least 14 people have died in fierce clashes between two warring Muslim tribes in Lanao del Sur, officials said Sunday.

It was not immediately known what triggered the fighting and officials of the Army's 4th Infantry Division, to which Lanao del Sur belongs, declined to speak to to reporters.

Regional military spokesman Major Julieto Ando said two of those killed in the fighting were also torched. "We are monitoring the situation so it may not escalate to other areas in central Mindanao," he said.

Tausug, from the southern Philippines islands of Jolo and Tawi-Tawi, and the Maranao tribe, from central Mindanao region, are bitter enemies.(Al Jacinto, PHNO Mindanao Buerau)


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