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Police tracking fugitives behind Lanao ambush

MARAWI CITY – Philippine authorities are hunting down the suspects in Tuesday’s ambush in Lanao del Norte’s Picong town that killed a cop and wounded four others.

Slain in the ambush was Police Officer 1 Rohodin Taha. Among those wounded in the daring attack was Senior Inspector Rudy Bagsingit, the town’s police chief.

The victims were travelling in patrol car when an undetermined number of armed men opened fired at them. The gunmen escaped shortly after the ambush.

Senior Superintendent Agustin Tello, provincial police chief, said one of the attackers was identified as Akil Darimbang – who staged the ambush in retaliation for his arrest. Darimbang, facing a murder case and captured last year, was one of the 23 inmates who escaped from the provincial prison here last month.

Last August 27, jihadists’ groups, led by founding members of the Khilafah Islamiyah Movement, stormed the provincial jail to rescue their eight comrades –members of the Maute group who were arrested for illegal possession of explosives.

The group also freed 15 other detainees, including Darimbang. It was not immediately known whether other jail escapees were involved in the attack. (Moh Saaduddin)

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