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Nation

Mayor's aides killed in ambush

John Unson - The Philippine Star

MAGUINDANAO, Philippines - Three security escorts of Mayor Montasir Sabal of Talitay town were killed while two others were wounded in an ambush Thursday, police said.

Senior Supt. Rudelio Jocson, director of the Maguindanao police, said the victims were passengers of one of Sabal’s vehicles, which the gunmen shot with automatic weapons while passing through a secluded stretch of a highway in Talitay.

The politically troubled Talitay is located in the second district of Maguindanao.

The victims were on their way to Cotabato City from the town center when their attackers, armed with M-14 and M-16 assault rifles, emerged from one side of the highway and opened fire, killing three of them instantly.

Local officials said the fatalities were all related by blood to Sabal, who is presently performing the Islamic Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. They worked for the mayor as personal bodyguards.

Political supporters of Sabal had figured in hostilities with followers of another local politician during the recent campaign period.

Responding policemen and barangay officials rushed the two wounded ambush victims to a hospital in Cotabato City.

Jocson said investigators are now trying to determine the identities of the ambushers and the real motive for the attack. 

COTABATO CITY

ISLAMIC HAJJ

JOCSON

MAGUINDANAO

MAYOR MONTASIR SABAL OF TALITAY

RUDELIO JOCSON

SABAL

SAUDI ARABIA

SENIOR SUPT

TALITAY

VICTIMS

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