Saturday, 04 August 2012 10:53
Three policemen and a civilian were killed and five other civilians seriously wounded when unidentified gunmen fired on their convoy in Omar town in Sulu Thursday, an official said.
A report reaching Zamboanga Today showed that three policemen were killed on the spot and a civilian died in a hospital due to his wounds while five other civilians critically wounded.
The slain policemen were identified as Inspector Nasirudin Maliga Jailani, PO2 Ferdinand Gumiran, and P02 Bander Madijul. The civilian who expired in a hospital was Said Masudi Abdurahim.
Those killed on the spot were members of the 5th Special Action Company, of the elite Philippine National Police – Special Action Force, deployed in Sulu province and those wounded and still in the hospital are Sherman Husain, Ridzmar Julkarnain, Beri Sahibudin, and Radzmi Rajab.
The policemen were escorting Omar Mayor Firhana Mohammad, who was to assume the mayoralty seat after the local court declared her as the legally and true winner in the last election when gunmen ambushed them.
"At around 3 p.m. Thursday afternoon, a convoy of policemen and town officials was attacked from unidentified armed men in the vicinity of Omar town," said Senior Superintendent Antonio Freyra, chief of the Sulu provincial police force.
Freyra said police is still investigating the ambush, but initial reports suggested the attack was politically motivated. “We are investigating this attack and we have reports that this could be politically motivated,” he added.
Meanwhile, acting ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman ordered the police in the region to intensify their manhunt against the attackers.
He ordered Chief Supt. Mario Avenido, PNP-ARMM police regional director, to effect the early arrest and file appropriate charges against those responsible in the murder of law enforcers.
Hataman, who chairs the inter-agency peace and order council of the ARMM, also ordered the Regional Reconciliation and Unification Commission to help convince the relatives of the victims not to retaliate.
This, after reports of a heightened political tension in Omar town as talks circulated that followers of the town mayor who survived the attack are gearing up for retaliation.
By Hader Glang
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