2 suspected assassins killed by soldiers during pursuit operations in Cotabato City
COTABATO CITY, Philippines – Two armed men were killed by security forces shortly after shooting to death an 18-year-old man and wounding a bystander along SK Pendatun Ave. here on Wednesday evening, the police said Thursday.
Senior Supt. Rex Anongos identified the suspected assassins who were killed as Roland Cabatuan and Alima Adam, all residents of this city.
Two other suspects, identified as Mike Montes and Ben Montes had been arrested. Mike, who was wounded, is now being tightly guarded at a hospital.
Anongos said the suspects, who were on two motorcycles, were shooting 18-year-old Jordan Talusob, a resident of Barangay Poblacion 3, when elements of the Army’s 5th Special Forces, who were conducting a patrol, noticed them around 9 p.m.
A bystander, identified as Rey Ganob of Barangay Poblacion 8, was also wounded by stray bullets, he said.
Col. Ranulfo Sevilla, 5th Special Forces Battalion commander, said his men immediately fired warning shots but instead of backing down, the suspects fired at the soldiers.
The soldiers eventually pursued the armed men, who were then fleeing on motorcycles.
Sevilla said the suspects continued trading shots with the pursuing soldiers as they fled.
“In the process, one of them was killed on the spot. He was identified as Roland Cabatuan while his two accomplices were initially hurt. One of them later died. Ben Montes, the alleged group leader, was arrested by soldiers,” Sevilla said.
Anongos said recovered from the suspects were two .45 caliber pistols and a .38 caliber revolver.
He said the police were still trying to determine the motive behind Talusob’s killing. Edwin Fernandez
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