ZAMBOANGA, Philippines — Eight people were killed as two warring Muslim clans clashed in a long-running feud stemming from the sale of a car, the local military commander said Monday.
Soldiers were deployed in a remote region of the southern island of Mindanao to stop the fighting that broke out on Friday, said local military commander Colonel Daniel Lucero.
“We have sent troops to pacify the warring clans. At least eight people have been killed on both sides since the fighting erupted,” Lucero said.
The feud between the families of two local politicians has raged since 2002, according to Lucero.
“It all began with the non-payment of a vehicle sold to one of the clan leaders, and since then they have clashed sporadically,” he said.
The eight people killed in violence over the past few days were armed members of the rival clans and their followers, according to Lucero.
Violent feuds between families over land, political power and business influence have long existed across the Philippines.
This is a particular problem in the south, where Muslim families engage in extended feuds of retribution in a phenomenon known as “rido”.
A study by the US-based Asia Foundation found that “rido” feuds in the south claimed more than 5,500 lives between 1930 and 2005.
In the worst recent case of such violence, leaders of a Muslim clan that dominated politics in one southern province allegedly massacred 57 people in 2009 to stop a rival’s effort to run against the family in local elections.
The clan leaders are currently on trial over the killings.