Maguindanao

3 more killed in another Maguindanao ambush, clash

Rommel Rebollido
3 more killed in another Maguindanao ambush, clash

ATTACK. Police secure an ambush site where a car crashed into a parked truck after an ambush in Datu Saudi Ampatuan town, Maguindanao on Saturday, June 18.

Courtesy of PNP-Datu Saudi Ampatuan

Still unidentified gunmen ambush two men from Cotabato City along a highway in Datu Saudi Ampatuan town, Maguindanao, just a day after a similar gun attack on the same road leave a militiaman dead and three others wounded

GENERAL SANTOS CITY, Philippines – Three men were killed in another gun attack and an encounter in two towns in Maguindanao, a province where authorities have stepped up security measures due to escalating tensions and violence which resulted in bloodshed and evacuations.

The latest violent incidents came just as Brigadier General Arthur Cabalona, the police director in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), ordered more checkpoints set up, and more police officers fielded to the main highway in Maguindanao as a result of the killings.

At least 50 families in Datu Saudi Ampatuan town and 150 others from General Salipada K. Pendatun town evacuated due to the escalating tensions, some of which were either blamed on rido (clan feud) or bitter political rivalries during the May elections.

Highway ambush

On Saturday, June 18, still unidentified gunmen ambushed two men from Cotabato City, killing one of them along a highway in Datu Saudi Ampatuan town, just a day after a similar gun attack on the same road left a militiaman dead and three others wounded.

In the village of Bugasan Sur in Matanog town, Marine soldiers and police killed the leader of an armed group and one of his followers during a sporadic exchange of firepower that lasted for about an hour on Friday, June 17.

Police said the ambush on Saturday resulted in the killing of Muslimin Behemino, a representative of Palawan Pawnshop in Cotabato City, who was driving a sports utility vehicle.

His co-worker, Alianur Sambulawan, survived the attack.

Lieutenant Melvin Laguting, the police chief of Datu Saudi Ampatuan town, said the two victims were traveling to Sharif Aguak town when they were attacked the moment they reached an isolated section of the highway.

The gun attack sent their car crashing into a dump truck that was parked on a roadside. Responders rushed the wounded Behemino to a hospital, but he died on the way.

Encounter

A day earlier, soldiers and police officers figured in a fierce encounter with an armed group led by fugitive Norodin Guimad in Matanog town, also in Maguindanao.

Marine Major Melchor Gonzaludo, commander of the Marine Battalion Landing Team-5, said the group of soldiers and police officers were sent to the village of Bugasan Sur for an operation when the armed group of Guimad started firing shots at authorities.

The soldiers and police officers fired back, resulting in a sporadic gun battle that lasted for about an hour.

Gonzaludo said the group fled after Guimad and one of his followers, identified as Puti Sumanday, were killed during the encounter.

Authorities found Guimad and Sumanday sprawled on the ground near firearms.

Marine Colonel Eric Macaambac, 1st Marine Brigade commander, said authorities found an M-16 rifle, a caliber .45 pistol, ammunition, and drug paraphernalia near the bloodied bodies of Guimad and Sumanday. – Rappler.com

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