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Police charge 2 Marawi men in slay try of television news team

ILIGAN CITY – Police have filed criminal charges against two men tagged as among those behind the attack on a television news crew in Marawi City in the southern Filipino province of Lanao del Sur.

Both men – Nasser Masurong and Yusop Sangcad – have been identified by witnesses in the December 26 attack on ABS-CBN reporter Ronnie Enderes and his team Emilito Balansag and Gary Montecillo.

The trio was travelling on a pick-up truck from Ditsa-an Ramain town when four gunmen on two motorcycles opened fire on the news team. It was unknown whether Masurong and Sangcad were members or sympathizers of radical groups in Marawi supporting ISIS, but they all remain at large.

Just today, two army soldiers working on the case were killed in Marawi after being shot while outside Ranao Broadcasting Corporation near the Masjid Islamic Center.

The soldiers, Sergeant John Saballe and Private First Class Sofronio Grame, Jr, were both members of the 65th Infantry Battalion. A woman near the scene was also shot and wounded and was rushed to the Amai Pakpak Medical Center.

Colonel Roseller Murillo, commander of the 103rd Infantry Brigade, confirmed the killings of the soldiers and said the duo was on an official mission in Marawi City in connection to the ongoing investigation into the attack on the news team of ABS-CBN.

Murillo said the soldiers were supposed to meet an informant. It was unknown if the attack was caught on security cameras outside the Ranao Broadcasting Corporation.

The military and police are also looking into the possible involvement of radical jihadists Khilafah Islamiyah Movement, locally known as “Ghuraba” (Stranger) into the attacks and other atrocities in Lanao del Sur and other areas in Northern Mindanao. (With a report from Moh Saaduddin)

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