Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 December 2014

15 fishermen killed in gun attack

Gunmen in the Philippines opened fire on three boats killing 15 fishermen
Gunmen in the Philippines opened fire on three boats killing 15 fishermen

Gunmen in a Philippine restive southern region opened fire on three boats and killed 15 people in what officials say was likely a clash between rival fishermen.

Military spokesman Lt Col Randolph Cagangbang said the attack took place off Sibago Island in Basilan province.

It is a stronghold of Muslim rebels who have been fighting for minority self-rule in the predominantly Christian nation for decades.

However, Cabangbang ruled out the involvement of al Qaida-linked Abu Sayyaf militants who were blamed for a series of deadly attacks on civilians and troops last year.

He said the fishermen were probably attacked by a rival group because they strayed into their fishing grounds.

Three other fishermen were wounded.

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