The Church has provided food and shelter to thousands of evacuees in the southern Philippines after Islamists launched attacks at the end of Ramadan last week.

Militants, thought to be members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), are said to have started shelling military units in the region late on May 21. The mortar shelling then escalated in the following days, with a number of villages reporting civilian deaths in the lead up to the Muslim festival of Eid al-Fitr on May 23.

The local authorities stated that at least 6,410 residents from the villages of Daplawan, Elian, and Kitango have subsequently been forced to flee their homes to find refuge in neighbouring areas.

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