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Government hunts suspects in Zambo del Sur attack

ZAMBOANGA CITY –- Police and military forces are pursuing Friday a group of rebels who allegedly attacked a village in Zamboanga del Sur that left six people dead and seven others wounded.
Zamboanga del Sur Police Director Jose Bayani Gucela said he also ordered an intensified intelligence operations to establish the rebels group’s location.
Object of the manhunt operations is the group of Ami Andi and his brother Pahid, who were tagged as behind last Wednesday’s attack in Sitio Bahing, Tininghalang village, Lapuyan, Zamboanga del Sur.
Six people, including four children, were killed on the spot, while seven others were wounded when the Andi brothers-led group attacked Tininghalang village around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Four of the six fatalities were identified as Junjun Tumbal Bangholot, Rex Langhay, Raquel Langhay, Daryl Daano.
The names of the wounded victims, who were rushed to the Margosatubig Regional Hospital, were not immediately available.
The victims were at their respective residence when around 10 gunmen led by Andi brothers swooped down on their village and strafed their houses, Gucela said.
He said attack was in retaliation for the death of Andi’s brother, Sammang Andi.
Sammang Andi and one of his followers identified only as a certain Ibrahim were killed in a firefight with combined police and military forces last February 11 in Sitio Bahing, Tininghalang village, Lapuyan municipality.

Sammang and Ibrahim are wanted for the crime of murder and rape, Gucela said.
The Andi brothers suspect that the victims were the ones who tipped off the police and military about the presence of their brother in Sitio Bahing, Tininghalang village, Gucela said.
Several armed groups operate in the Zamboanga peninsula, including Muslim rebels who have been fighting for self-rule in the predominantly Christian nation for decades.
Among them are groups that often turn to banditry, extortion and ransom kidnappings for survival and elude authorities by hiding in forests and on nearby islands.
A military offensive last year overran a guerrilla camp in a neighboring province but most of the fighters escaped.

with reports from AP/Sunnex
Friday, February 24, 2012


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