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Ambush at political rally leaves 13 dead

More bloodshed in Philippines election campaign

Ambush at political rally leaves 13 dead
Mayor Abdul Malik Manamparan was recovering in a hospital on Friday (photo by AFP/Richele Umel) reporter, Manila

April 26, 2013

Gunmen ambushed a political rally late on Thursday killing 13 people, including the daughter and granddaughter of the town mayor, and injuring 10 others in the attack in Mindanao’s Lanao del Norte province.

The ambush was staged by “suspected rival political candidates,” said infantry commander Brig-Gen Daniel Lucero and comes just weeks before the Philippines goes to the polls for mid-term elections.

Mayor Abdul Malik Manamparan of Nunungan town was on his way from a political rally in a nearby village when the incident took place, said Lucero.

About 15 gunmen carried out the attack, according to reports.

Aside from his daughter, Adnanie, Manamparan lost two other relatives with another two injured. Manamparan was recovering in hospital from a shrapnel wound to the head on Friday.

Thursday’s attack was the most violent yet of a Philippines campaign season that is fast becoming as bloody as those of the past.

On Sunday, communist New People's Army rebels ambushed the convoy of Mayor Ruthie Guingona, wounding her and killing two police escorts in Gingoog City in Mindanao. Guingona is the wife of former vice president Teofisto Guingona and mother of Senator Teofisto Guingona.

A battalion of marines was deployed in the province of Misamis Oriental on Thursday in response to the senator’s call for additional troops in a bid to ensure peaceful elections in the area.

Authorities imposed a 150-day ban on carrying firearms outside residences during the election period, with police and army personnel deployed to enforce the measures in notable hot spots, particularly in restive Mindanao.

In 2009, 58 people, including 32 media workers, were killed by more than 100 gunmen in a massacre blamed on political rivalry between two powerful clans in the province of Maguindanao in Mindanao.

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