Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Pinoy Shootout

10 killed in ambush of ex-vice governor in south Philippines

Ten people were killed and three others were injured including a former vice governor in an exchange of fires in the south Philippines' North Cotabato province, a military official said on Wednesday.

The shootout occurred at around 9:45 a.m. Wednesday morning when the convoy of Norodin Matalam, former vice governor of the neighboring Maguindanao province, was chased by armed villagers.

"Matalam's escorts and the villagers got out of the vehicles and opened fire against each other," said Col. Pedro Soria, commander of the Army's 602nd Brigade.

Matalam and his wife survived the shootout but were injured. The leader of the attacking villagers, Tayatog, and six of his men were killed on the spot. Three men from the other side were also dead after the crossfire, Soria said.

Soria said Matalam is recovering in the hospital and the cause of the shootout is under investigation.

Local news network ABS-CBN News said Matalam belongs to an influential Muslim political clan, and police are investigating whether the attack was politically motivated.