MANILA, Philippines – A 4-year-old girl staying in an evacuation center in Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Maguindanao was killed by a stray bullet Tuesday night, authorities said.
The girl’s father, Arsad Usman, was also hit by a bullet in the leg.
The spokesperson of Kawagib, a Moro rights group, said the evacuees staying at the Datu Pendelilang Piang Elementary School in Barangay Salvo were alarmed by gunfire at around 11:30 p.m.
Gunfire was heard in the towns of Datu Saudi Ampatuan and Datu Unsay, according to a resident.
Kawagib spokesperson Bai Ali Indayla called for justice for the girl’s death.
Indayla said the incident is another example of alleged human rights violations in the province
She said the dispute between armed groups in Maguindanao can only be resolved by understanding the roots of the conflict.
"War is never a solution, it will only hurt more and more people, and death to the innocent civilians will be continuous" Indayla said.
The body of the victim was buried immediately in accordance with Islamic rituals.
The victim’s father, meanwhile, is receiving treatment at the town's medical center. -- Report from Lerio Bompat, ABS-CBN News Central Mindanao