(UPDATE) 2 Army soldiers killed, woman seriously hurt in Marawi City gun attack
ILIGAN CITY, Philippines – Two Army soldiers were shot dead by unidentified men while a woman was hit by a stray bullet in Marawi City on Tuesday morning.
Authorities said the two soldiers from the 65th Infantry Battalion were standing in front of the government-run Ranao Broadcasting Corp. in Barangay Pangarungan in Marawi City past 10 a.m. Tuesday when attacked.
Initial reports said two armed men casually approached the soldiers and shot them with .45 caliber pistols. The two soldiers later died at the hospital where they were brought for treatment.
Lanao del Sur Gov. Mamintal Adiong Jr. said a female bystander was hit by a stray bullet and has been reported to be in critical condition at the Amai Pakpak Medical Center, also in Marawi City.
Insp. Parson Asadil of the Marawi City police identified the victims as Sergeants Jhon Bernas Saballe and Sofronio Saliling Grame , Jr.
Asadil said both victims died at the hospital while undergoing treatment.
Jennie Alonto Tamano, the Lanao del Sur information officer, said based on information reaching her, the attack was caught on the station’s CCTV and the police continued to investigate the killings.
Adiong said he was deeply saddened “by yet another brutal murder committed in Marawi City by unidentified men.”
He urged authorities to “to put an end to all this madness as soon as possible.”
Several violent attacks have taken place in Marawi City in recent days and most have not been resolved yet.
On Saturday, unidentified armed men also fired at a news crew from the ABS CBN station in Iligan City as they were returning to their base from Marawi City.
No one was hurt in the gun attack.
On October 17, the police chief of Marawi City was killed in an ambush by armed men as he was heading back to the city’s police station after attending a command conference at the provincial police office.
Supt. Abner Santos was traveling alone on his Mitsubishi Montero and was cruising along Sarimanok area when fired upon. He died instantly.
On May 19, assistant state prosecutor Saipan Alawe Sr. was also killed while his driver was injured.
Alawe was on his way home from the Hall of Justice in Marawi City when ambushed.
“Whatever reasons behind these senseless killings happening in our area, they can never be acceptable,” Adiong said.
Asadil denied that authorities have lost control of the security situation in the city.
But he admitted that they haven’t identified suspects in the killing of the soldiers.
In the killing of Santos, he said the suspects have been charged.
“Two of the prime suspects were policemen from Lanao del Sur.” Asadil said.
Col. Roseller Murillo, commanding officer of the Army’s 103rd Infantry Brigade, said he has directed all operating troops to tighten security more in the city. SFM
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