Bus driver killed as gunmen strafe bus in Maguindanao
COTABATO CITY, Philippines—Gunmen believed to be members of a bandit group or an extortion gang strafed a bus in Maguindanao on Saturday, killing the driver and wounding the conductor, police said.
Inspector Marlon Silvestre, Shariff Aguak police chief, identified the slain driver of a Husky bus as a Jun Nicor and the wounded conductor as Ronaldo Ampan.
Silvestre said Nicor was driving the air-conditioned Husky bus to General Santos City from here when about five gunmen fired on it around 12:40 p.m. in Barangay Labo-Labo in Shariff Aguak town.
Silvestre said the gunmen used M-16 automatic rifles.
“The 30-year-old Nicor was hit at the back of his head and body. The bus also ditched but there were no additional injuries. He died while being rushed to a hospital,” he said.
Silvestre described Barangay Labo-Labo as a known area of operation of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, a breakaway faction of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
It was the second strafing incident involving a Husky bus in recent days.
About two weeks ago, gunmen also strafed a Husky bus as it passed Guindulungan town. The BIFF is also known to operate in areas of Guindulungan.
Colonel Dickson Hermoso, who spoke for the military’s 6th Infantry Division, said pursuit operations were ongoing against the armed men.