Police identified the victims as Corporals Albert Saura and Bryan Binayog, Private First Class Albert Soriano– all members of the Army’s 4th Mechanized Infantry Battalion—and Camilo Andog, 18, of Barangay Denaig, Poona Piagapo.
Brig. Gen. Facundo Palafox, commander of the 2nd Mechanized Infantry Brigade, said the soldiers, who were on board two motorcycles, were on their way to the town proper to buy goods around 9 a.m. when a group of armed men opened fire on them.
Palafox said Andog is a friend of the soldiers and was with them when the incident occurred.
Meanwhile, Maj. Salman Saad, information officer of Lanao del Norte police, said another civilian, Hadji Amen Sumagumba, was wounded after his vehicle was shot near the crime scene.
Sumagumba was onboard his vehicle with his family, Saad said.
“While the armed men were about to withdraw, they saw the vehicle of Sumagumba approaching, and they opened fire at them,” Saad said.
Palafox said government forces immediately launched a pursuit operation against the suspects. (PNA)
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