Police to probe Arab preacher, diplomat slay attempt

THE local police have activated a special investigation body to probe the shooting of two Arab nationals, including a diplomat, in Zamboanga City late Tuesday.

Superintendent Luisito Magnaye, officer-in-charge of Zamboanga City Police Office, said Wednesday that they activated Special Investigation Task Group Al-Qarni to look into the motive of the incident.

The attack occurred around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday outside the Western Mindanao State University’s (WMSU) gymnasium where one of the victims, Dr. Aidh Al-Qarni, had just conducted a lecture.

“We will focus on the motive of the incident,” Magnaye said.

Initial investigation showed that Al-Qarni and Sheikh Turki Assaegh, the religious attaché of the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, were already aboard a vehicle and about to leave when a lone gunman surfaced from the crowd and shot them one after the other.

Magnaye said that members of the Police Security and Protection Group (PSPG) detailed as security of the two Arab nationals opened fire and neutralized the gunman, who was later identified as Rugasan Kiliste Misuari III through the documents recovered by the Scene of the Crime Operatives.

He said the PSPG policemen have collared one of Misuari’s accomplices, Junaide Cadir, 36, jobless and a resident of the village of Taguiti. Misuari is a resident of the village of Tumaga.

Magnaye said that another accomplice, Mujer Abubakar, 31, was arrested by policemen along Baban Street after he jumped over the concrete fence at the back of the WMSU gymnasium.

Abubakar is a pedicab driver and a resident of the village of Sta. Barbara.

Magnaye said a caliber .45 pistol with five live ammunition and believed to be the suspect’s weapon was recovered at the crime scene.

Meanwhile, Local Government Secretary Senen Sarmiento dropped by Zamboanga City from Jolo, Sulu, to get firsthand information on the incident.

Sarmiento met with police and Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) officials and Mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar in a closed-door meeting upon his arrival in the city.

Sarmiento said that further in-depth investigation over the incident should continue.

“We cannot share everything as of the moment as investigation is going on,” he said.
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