3 soldiers, 10-year-old die in Marawi attack-A A +A
Thursday, August 9, 2012
MANILA (2nd Update, 11:15 a.m.) — Heavily armed men have opened fire on an Army patrol near a sprawling university in the southern Philippines, killing three soldiers and a 10-year-old boy, and wounding 13 others.
Army Colonel Daniel Lucero said the soldiers were traveling on a truck near Mindanao State University (MSU) in the Islamic City of Marawi late Wednesday when about 15 gunmen raked the patrolling troops with rifle fire.
The soldiers returned fire and wounded several of the attackers, who fled from the scene.
The attack happened around 9 p.m. Wednesday, Marawi Mayor Fahad Salic said over a television report Thursday.
Salic said the boy was killed while inside their house in downtown Marawi. He suspected that the incident may have been caused by a stray bullet.
Lucero said 10 others were wounded, along with three passing motorists.
Two of those wounded were MSU students.
Lucero said the gunmen were believed to be gangsters unleashed by politicians who wanted to harass the military for backing government efforts to prevent fraud in next year's local elections.
Lanao del Sur Police Provincial Director Romeo Magsalos said the attack was the first near MSU, noting that it is “not an area of conflict.”
Hot pursuit operations are ongoing.
Marawi City, the capital city of the province of Lanao del Sur, is classified as an urban, fourth income-class community with a population of more 177,000 people. (AP/Sunnex)