Saudi preacher, diplomat hurt in Zamboanga shooting
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (3rd UPDATE) – Two people were injured following a shooting incident at Western Mindanao State University compound in Zamboanga City on Tuesday, March 1, with the gunman killed by security forces.
The two victims were identified as preacher Sheikh Aaidh al-Qarni and Sheikh Turki Assaegh, an official with the Saudi embassy. The two were rushed to the ZAEC Medical Center for treatment.
Qarni did not have life-threatening injuries, according to local police spokesperson Senior Inspector Helen Galvez. Earlier reports said he was in critical condition.
The shooting occurred at around 8:20 pm.
Qarni the preacher
Saudi media outlets described Qarni as a senior Islamic scholar. He has more than 12 million followers on Twitter.
In his book "Awakening Islam," the French academic Stephane Lacroix included Qarni among "the most famous" Saudi preachers.
Zamboanga is one of the largest cities in the southern Philippines, which has been home to a decades-long separatist rebellion by the mainly Catholic nation's Muslim minority.
Zamboanga has a mixed Christian and Muslim population, and has been a frequent target of attacks by local Muslim militant groups. – with reports from Agence France-Presse/Rappler.com