Thursday, December 10, 2009

Police convoy ambushed in Maguindanao province

COTABATO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / December 10, 2009) - Suspected armed supporters of a powerful political clan ambushed late Thursday a police convoy in the southern Philippine province of Maguindanao where 57 people had been brutally killed last month, officials said.

Officials said the police convoy came under fire in the village of Labu-Labu in Ampatuan town, but there were no reports of casualties. The military said it sent four armored vehicles in the area to rescue the policemen who were on their way to General Santos City.

“There were no casualties in the ambush. We have dispatched four armored vehicles to the area to reinforce the policemen,” Colonel Jonathan Ponce, a spokesman for the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, told the regional newspaper, the Mindanao Examiner.

Ponce said the attackers could be followers of the Ampatuan clan. “The ambushers could be supporters of the Ampatuan clan,” he said.

The town is a stronghold of the clan linked to the November 23 murders where the bodies of those killed were buried in mass graves.

Last month, 57 people, including 30 journalists, traveling an election convoy were brutally murdered in Ampatuan town, believed to be the result of battling warlords in the region, led to the imposition of martial law in Maguindanao. (Mindanao Examiner)

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