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Lanao Norte mayor’s convoy ambushed; 13 killed

MANILA, Philippines—Thirteen people were killed and several others were wounded, including the incumbent mayor of Nunungan town, Lanao del Norte, in an ambush Thursday night, police said Friday.

Senior Police Officer 1 Diosdado Alarcon said the group of Mayor Abdul Malik Manamparan was on board a dump truck and on their way back to Nunungan from another village when attacked by a group of still unidentified armed men in  Barangay (village) Malaig around 6:40 p.m. Thursday.

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Alarcon said the armed group blocked the convoy and started shooting, noting that the ambush site was roughly 20 kilometers away from the group’s supposed destination.

Initially, 12 people were killed, including Adnani Manamparan, the mayor’s 30-year-old daughter. Seven other people were injured in the attack.

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Those killed were identified as the mayor’s close relatives Adnanie, 32; Baobi, 25; and Sadam – all surnamed Manamparan; Johani Bantuas, 21; Sami Sanayon, 21; Baby Dimasangcay, 16; Lala Diamrang, 54; Apipa Mamantuc, 18; Saidona Mamantuc, 52; Hamdan Mamantuc, 18; Alinor Mamantuc, 19; and Maliha Sultan, 17.

But Brigadier General Daniel Lucero, commander of the 1st Infantry Division based in Zamboanga del Sur, said one of the earlier reported wounded person died.

“Yung dinalang wounded namatay na, yung iba na wounded ngayon lang lumabas,” Lucero told reporters over the phone.

He said aside from Manamparan, nine others were injured in the ambush.

The ambush on a remote mountain road near Nunungan town was carried out as the mayor and his party travelled home from a campaign sortie. It was the latest episode of political violence in the Philippines which will hold elections on May 13.

Meanwhile, the military sent more troops into Nunungan town as the hunt for the armed group that ambushed the party of Manamparan got underway.

Lucero said the deployment of more troops in the town was aimed at preventing violence from escalating and spreading to other areas.

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He said that Nunungan had been closely watched due to intense political rivalries and Thursday’s ambush proved the authorities’ fears were not baseless.

A running police tally lists 30 deaths from 45 other violent incidents reported since the start of the campaign in February.

In November 2009, members of a powerful clan on Mindanao abducted and murdered 58 people including relatives of a local rival who was planning to challenge the clan leader in gubernatorial elections the following year.

Manamparan, of the opposition Nationalist People’s Coalition party, is the mayor of the mainly Muslim town of Nunungan. He told AFP he had a good idea who was responsible for the attack, but declined to discuss his suspicions.

The predominantly Muslim areas of Mindanao have a reputation for deadly clan wars, sometimes lasting generations. The island is also wracked by insurgencies waged by Muslim and communist rebels.

Manamparan is standing for the lower post of vice-mayor, with his son and namesake running for mayor. The candidate son was not among the casualties. With a report from Frances Mangosing

Originally posted: 9:27 am | Friday, April 26th, 2013

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TAGS: ambush, Crime, election violence, Gun ban, Lanao del Norte, Murder, News, Police, Politics, Regions
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