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PAGADIAN CITY – A bloody shootout between police forces and a criminal gang erupted Friday that left 2 persons dead in the southern Filipino province of Zamboanga del Sur, officials said.

Officials said policemen were sent to arrest members of the notorious gang in Dinas town, but gunmen opened fire on the cops, sparking a battle that killed 2 gunmen.

Two other gang members were captured by police forces in the village of East Migpulao. There were no reports of police casualties. The operation was launched after police tracked down the gang’s hideout following a long intelligence operation.

Chief Inspector Helen Galvez, a regional police spokeswoman, said three rifles and an automatic pistols, including ammunition and cellphones were also recovered by the police from the slain and captured gang members.

The slain gunmen have been identified as Moamar Ansang Fermin, 36; and Suad Abang Esmael, 32, and both were on the most wanted list of the police, and blamed for the spate of killings in the town. The two captured gang members were also identified by the police as Hadad Giapal Nanding, 23; and Mahadam Yunos Giapal, 28, and both are currently being interrogated.

“The two other suspects who were arrested during the operation are now under the custody of Dinas municipal police station where they are being investigated,” Galvez said.

Regional police commander Billy Beltran praised the capture of the criminals and lauded police units involved in the operation. (Mindanao Examiner)


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