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4 dead, 8 hurt, one missing as police, MILF clash in Lanao del Sur

/ 07:00 PM April 04, 2019
 4 dead, 8 hurt, one missing as police, MILF clash in Lanao del Sur

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COTABATO CITY – Four men facing murder charges were killed when they resisted arrest during law enforcement operations before dawn on Thursday in Madamba, Lanao del Sur.

The clash also left one police officer missing and eight policemen wounded.

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A Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) official said those killed were legitimate MILF members under Commander Abu Haniff.

Police Colonel Madzgani Mukaram, Lanao del Sur police provincial director, said a police car was also set ablaze by relatives of the slain murder suspects who blocked police as they left the village at sunrise.

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Mukaram said police were to serve arrest warrants about 1 a.m. on four murder suspects in Barangay Iligan, Madamba. He said the suspects were believed to be responsible for the murder of a village official during the barangay polls.

“They resisted arrest and opened fire on approaching police officers, triggering a shootout that left four suspects dead,” Mukaram said in a phone interview by reporters here.

Mukaram identified the slain wanted suspects as Zanadin Amerol, Usop Abdulazis, Alican Usman and Casara Macalatas, all residents of Barangay Ilian.

He said Amerol was the principal suspect in the murder of Edu Masalama of Barangay Tabalan, Madamba who defeated him in the 2018 village polls.

Police seized from slain wanted men high powered guns that included M-16 rifles with grenade launchers and ammunition.

“As we leave the village at past 6 a.m. heavily armed relatives of slain suspects opened fire on police officers, triggering another gun battle,” Mukaram said.

He said the gunmen were armed with assault rifles and rifle grenades.

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That second fire fight left eight police officers injured while one police officer could not be found.

The MILF said the slain suspects were legitimate MILF members in Madamba town.

Von Al Haq, MILF military chief of staff, said the joint coordinating committee on ceasefire of the government and the MILF are investigating the “unfortunate incident to prevent its escalation.”

Several civilians have fled their homes to safer areas as soldiers from the 103rd Infantry Brigade proceeded to the town of Madamba.

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TAGS: Commander Abu Haniff, Crime, Lanao del Sur, Madamba, Moro Islamic Liberation Front, ‎Police, resisting arrest
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