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MARAWI CITY – At least 6 people were wounded when two groups of policemen clashed in Lanao del Sur province in the troubled Muslim autonomous region in southern Philippines, the military said Tuesday.

It said policemen from Tugaya town and more than a dozen armed men attacked the police station in the village of Bubong in the town of Bacolod Kalawi on Monday afternoon, sparking a firefight that left six civilians injured.

There were no immediate reports of casualties on the side of both police forces, but the military released the identities of those wounded in the clash as Osmeňa Bagaya, 41; Anie Radie, 37; Mosa Radiem, 40; Basar Pumbaya, 49; Iya Maniri, 43; and Kalil Radie, 10.

The military said the fighting lasted for about 15 minutes and it only stopped after the attackers retreated.

The motive of the attack is unknown, but it occurred ahead of the local political campaign in Lanao del Sur, which is one of the most contested area during elections in the Muslim autonomous region.

The regional police and the provincial government did not issue any statement about the violence involving lawmen.

The fighting also coincided with deadly clashes between military forces and jihadists in Butig town also in Lanao del Sur, and the infighting between Balabagan town Mayor Edna Benito and Vice Mayor Quirino Sampiano.

Benito, whose suspension was lifted by the Department of the Interior and Local Government, was trying to retake her office from the acting mayor, Sampiano, who refused to yield power. (With a report from E. Dumaboc)

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