MANILA – A civilian was killed and another injured when the military and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) clashed in Guindulungan, Maguindanao Tuesday morning.
The encounter occurred after the rebels strafed an oil tanker in the village of Bagan.
The incident forced the military to temporarily close a portion of the Cotabato-General Santos highway.
Hundreds of motorists were stranded.
Palace officials called on the public to avoid the highway until soldiers complete their clearing operations.
"The commuters have been asked to avoid that particular highway, ngunit alam kong mahirap dahil it is the main highway in that area, but we cannot risk their safety. So the commuters have been put on hold, ngunit ina-assure naman po natin 'yung mga tao doon that the operations are continuing to make the highway passable at the soonest possible time," said deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte. -- With reports from Albashir Saiden, ABS-CBN News Central Mindanao; ANC