Monday, January 30, 2006

Attacks Kill 8 In Southern RP

ZAMBOANGA CITY (Zamboanga Journal / 30 Jan) Eight people were killed and five others wounded in separate attacks in the strife-torn southern Philippine region, officials said.

Gunmen ambushed a passenger jeep and killing five people in the weekend attack in Lanao del Sur province, where bandits and rebels are known to operate, officials said.

Officials said five others were wounded in the ambush in the village of Lalabuan in Balabagan town. The jeep was traveling to Maguindanao province from Marawi City when the gunmen opened fire on the vehicle.

"There is an ongoing investigation and troops were dispatched to help police track down the attackers," said Maj. Gamal Hayudini, chief information officer of the military's Southern Command.

No individual or group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but Lanao del Sur, one of five provinces under the Muslim autonomous region, is a known lair of bandits and rebels who previously attacked civilians. Clan war and vendetta killings are also rampant in the province.

In Butuan City in Agusan del Norte province, a farming couple and their son were also shot and killed after unidentified gunmen barged into their house Saturday. The assailants torched the house and burned the bodies before escaping, the Southern Command said.

New People's Army also attacked two military posts on Sunday in Davao del Sur, triggering fierce gun battle that left a still undetermined number of communist rebels. There were no reports of government casualties.

The rebels are fighting to overthrow the government the past three decades to install a Maoist state in the country.

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