Friday, July 24, 2009

5 killed in rebel attacks in southern Philippines

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / July 24, 2009) – Five people were killed in separate rebel attacks in the volatile region of Mindanao in the southern Philippines, officials said Friday.

Officials said suspected Abu Sayyaf gunmen killed three people, including a baby, in an ambush Thursday at a remote village in the town of Ungkaya Pukan in Basilan province.

The victims, all Muslims, were heading home on a motorcycle when gunmen opened fire.

The motive of the ambush was unknown, but police and military authorities have tagged the Abu Sayyaf in a string of attacks on civilians and soldiers in the troubled province, several nautical miles south of Zamboanga.

Officials said New People’s Army rebels also ambushed a former village chieftain and a pro-government militia on Thursday in the village of Marilog in Davao City. The attack also left another militia wounded.

Captain Rosa Maria Cristina Manuel, an army spokeswoman, said the Maoist rebels sprayed the trio with automatic gunfire. “The three men were on their way home when the NPA ambushed them,” she told the Mindanao Examiner.

Prior to the ambush, rebels also killed two village leaders and two government soldiers in Compostela Valley’s Monkayo town, Manuel said.

The NPA is fighting the past four decades for the establishment of a Maoist state in the country. Manila said it would resume peace talks with the rebels next month. (Mindanao Examiner)

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