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7 killed in Zambo Sur attack


MANILA, Philippines – At least 7 people were killed, most of them reportedly were children, after heavily-armed men attacked a coastal community in Lapuyan, Zamboanga del Sur on Wednesday, February 23.
Speaking to Rappler by phone from the site of the attack, Zamboanga del Sur police director Sr Supt Jose Bayani Gucela described the incident as “an act of retaliation.”
According to police reports, more or less 10 unidentified men carrying firearms that included “RPGs (Rocket Propeller Grenade) and M16 rifles” opened fire at residents of Sitio Bahing, Barangay Tininghalang around 4pm on Wednesday.
The attack killed 7 people and hurt 3 others. A military report indicated that most of the fatalities “were probably children”.
Based on initial police investigation, the attack in the Subanen-dominated community was led by a certain Amie Andi, brother of a suspected lawless group leader who was recently arrested by local authorities. 
Apparently, the gunmen suspected that the residents of this community were the ones who helped in the neutralization of Samang Andi,” Gucela said. “They retaliated by shooting indiscriminately at the victims.” Andi was killed in an encounter with government authorities last February 11.
Gucela said Andi, a notorious lawless group leader operating in the towns of Lapuyan and Margosatubig, has been a subject of police operation for his involvement in a string of criminal cases that included “extortion, piracy, kidnapping and murder.”
A joint police and military manhunt operation has been launched to pursue the attackers, who fled the area on board their pump boats towards an unknown direction.
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David Y. Santos
Posted on 02/23/2012 8:55 PM  | Updated 02/23/2012 9:05 PM
 Rappler.com

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