Tuesday, August 10, 2010

2 men in bloody Zamboanga attack arrested

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Aug. 10, 2010) – Police said Tuesday it captured two men behind an attack on a group of fishermen off Zamboanga City in the southern Philippines.

The two were among a group of armed men who killed six fishermen last week during an attack on a trawler near Eleven Islands in the eastern coast of Zamboanga, said Senior Superintendent Edwin de Ocampo, the local police chief.

He said the two men had been identified by a lone witness who hid on one of the trawler’s rooms during Thursday attack. The witness said the gunmen intercepted their trawler and told the crew to jump off the boat and were later shot and hacked with machetes.

“We have filed criminal charges against the two suspects and there is an operation to track down the others involved in the attack,” he said.

The attack was only discovered on Friday after the witness - son of one the victims - who feared the gunmen were still around, managed to sail the trawler back to the fish port of Sangali in Zamboanga.

De Ocampo said attack was connected to a family feud.

Clan war or locally known as “rido”, is common in many parts of the southern Philippines. The U.S. Agency for International Development and think -tank Asia Foundation have said more than 3,000 people have been killed over the past seven decades in family feuds in the southern Philippines.

In Zamboanga City, more than two dozen vengeance killings occurred in recent months in three villages involving Christian and Muslim families. And this is also common in Basilan, Sulu, Maguindanao and other parts of the Muslim autonomous region in Mindanao.

Rido can involve disputes among family members or among two or more rival families, pitting neighbors or different ethnic groups against each other. The disputes center on issues of land, money, marriage or political power and involve revenge killings.

The violence increases with each act of retaliation, broadening to include those not directly involved in the dispute, including women and children, according to the Asia Foundation, adding, some feuds lasted for decades. (Mindanao Examiner)

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