Thursday, August 26, 2010

4 killed in Lanao Norte highway attack

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Aug. 26, 2010) – Armed men clad in police uniform flagged down a provincial bus on a highway in the southern Filipino province of Lanao del Norte and shot and killed four people on Thursday.

Among those killed were two policemen and the bus driver, according to passengers who witnessed the killings. One passenger said gunmen stopped the bus, owned by Rural Transit of Mindanao, at a police checkpoint in Kapatagan town and told the passengers they received reports that armed men were in the bus.

Hearing this, two passengers who turned out to be policemen introduced themselves, but were immediately gunned down. The other passengers were told to disembark by the gunmen who later shot two more people.

“They said they were policemen and told us to get out of the bus and we saw how they shot the victims. They told us that they were only after the driver and his bus,” one passenger told a local radio network, dxRZ-Radio Agong.

He said the bus, which came from Cagayan de Oro City and bound for Zamboanga City, was flagged down at around 1:30 a.m.

The motive of the attack was unknown and no group or individual claimed responsibility for the killings. But the province in a known lair of bandits and rebels who were previously blamed for attacks on commuter buses and civilians.

Last year, gunmen also strafed a passenger jeep and killed and wounded at least six people on a highway near Tagoloan town in Lanao del Norte.

In 2008, Moro rebels negotiating peace with Manila also attacked several villages in the towns of Kolambugan and Kauswagan town, burning houses and shooting at innocent civilians after the failed signing of the homeland accord with the Arroyo government. (Mindanao Examiner)

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