MARAWI CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Sept. 6, 2010) – Police forces killed a bandit leader tagged as behind the kidnapping of a Muslim trader and the spate of attacks on commuter buses in the southern Philippines.
Police said Khalid Pansar was killed in a firefight in the village of Lumbac in Lanao del Sur’s Pualas town. The fighting broke out after police forces tried to arrest Pansar, shot and killed a Muslim preacher, Ustadz Andalawan Salic in the village.
Pansar clashed with policemen in a running gun battle that lasted almost an hour, said Senior Superintendent Cosanie Derogongan, the provincial police chief.
“PNP elements immediately responded and engaged in a firefight that ensued for almost an hour that resulted to the death of Khalid Pansar, who suffered multiple gunshot wounds in the different parts of his body,” Derogongan said, referring to police forces.
He said Pansar was Lanao del Sur’s most wanted man. He was also tagged as behind the series of highway robberies and the August 31 kidnapping of Abdulkarim Magarang in Marawi City.
“Further investigation disclosed that Khalid Pansar was engaged in a series of highway robbery, hold-ups along the Narciso Ramos Highway and alleged involvement in the abduction of Abdulcarim Magarang in Marawi City and burning of Rural Transit in Kapatagan town in Lanao del Norte,” Derogongan said.
He was referring to the August 26 attack on a provincial bus that left four people dead, including two policemen. Gunmen in police uniform flagged down the bus in Kapatagan town and shot its driver and his conductor and the policemen who were among the passengers.
The bus came from Cagayan de Oro City and was bound for Zamboanga City when the attack occurred. The motive of the attack was unknown.
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. (With a report from Becky de Asis)