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Military heightens security in Basilan after massacre of 15 fishermen

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) adjusted its security operations in Basilan after 15 fishermen were killed there on Monday.

In the meantime, the Philippine Coast Guard and Philippine National Police continue to look for at least six more fishermen still reported missing.

Gunmen in Basilan killed fishermen from Pagadian and wounded three others in a sea attack by suspected local rivals apparently asserting claims to fishing territory.
 
The fishermen were killed by men armed with assault rifles off the southern island of Basilan on Monday, regional military spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Randolph Cabangbang.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) update on Friday said the incident occurred at 7:00 a.m. last Monday, off Sibago Island in Mohammad Ajul in Basilan.
 
The initial investigation showed that unidentified armed men aboard three "pakura" (small watercraft) fired at three "palakaya" (fishing boats). 
 
The bodies of at least four fishermen have so far been recovered:
  • Leon Tamparung
  • Ronald Buhian
  • Kennette
  • Sadam "Dodong" Lunsud
 
Those still missing are:
  • Ricky Miguela, owner of one of the fishing boats
  • Arcenio Cabarles
  • Marcelo Cbarles
  • Vanie Francisco
  • Vincio Matugas
  • Loreto Calderon
Meanwhile, a report of radio dzBB quoted AFP Public Information Office head Col. Marcelo Burgos Jr. as saying the military is investigating the circumstances behind the shooting.
 
Burgos said naval forces of the AFP's Western Mindanao Command continues to patrol and secure the Basilan area, the report added.
-------------------------------- 
 VVP, GMA News
January 27, 2012 9:30am
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