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9 dead in Abu Sayyaf raid in Basilan village

/ 05:00 AM August 22, 2017

ZAMBOANGA CITY — Nine people, including a 13-year-old boy, were killed after Abu Sayyaf bandits attacked a village in Maluso town in Basilan province on Monday morning, police said.

Chief Insp. John Cundo, Maluso police chief, said the armed men attacked Barangay Tubigan at 5 a.m. and started burning at least four houses and the barangay health center.

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Maluso Mayor Hanie Bud told the Inquirer that 10 persons were also wounded in the attack that displaced about 100 families.

“While everyone was asleep, the Abu Sayyaf stormed Tubigan,” Bud told the Inquirer by phone.

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The mayor said the bandits hacked a government militiaman and fired at fleeing civilians.

He said about 70 bandits raided the village, the second attack since 2010.

“Tubigan is a Muslim-dominated barangay, but its residents [live peacefully] regardless of [differences in] faith. In fact, their barangay officials are Christians,” Bud said.

He said the attack could be meant to divert the military’s focus from the operations in Mohammad Ajul town, where five bandits had been killed recently.

Cundo said policemen sent to Maluso managed to drive the bandits out of Tubigan after a firefight that lasted for more than an hour.

Killed were residents Radzma Arakani, Radsma Hassan, Carmina dela Cruz, Ajid Aminulla, Ryan Joplo, Baby Arakanu, Andok Haikin Kato and 13-year-old Mark Tan Jalad; and militiaman Reynaldo Esparcia. —Julie S. Alipala

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