Friday, September 22, 2006

Village Chieftain Killed In Zamboanga Attack

ZAMBOANGA CITY (Mindanao Examier / 22 Sept) An unidentified gunman shot dead a provincial village chieftain in an attack Friday in Zamboanga City in the southern Philippines, police said.

Police said the victim, Arip Alpha, was killed while on his way to sell live prawns in the village of Baliwasan. The attacker fled on foot after the killing, it said.

Alpha’s companion told police investigators that he saw the gunman shot the victim once behind the head. “He was wearing a hat and escaped immediately after the shooting. I don’t know why Arip was killed,” he said.

Alpha was a village chieftain in the island of Oluntanga near Zamboanga del Sur province.

Police investigators said they recovered an empty shell of a .45-caliber pistol, believed used in the shooting. The motive of the killing is unknown.

Last week, a policeman was also killed by unidentified gunman while walking near a police camp in R.T. Lim Blvd. near downtown Zamboanga. More than a dozen people had been killed in violence in Zamboanga City the past weeks.

The spate of killings have alarmed many traders in Zamboanga and urged the police and military to step up its patrol. Zamboanga is to celebrate the Fiesta Pilar, an annual feast held every October 12 in honor of the Virgin Mary.

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