2 village officials killed in attack by Muslim rebels in S. Philippines

10:07, October 22, 2010      

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Two village officials were killed in an attack staged by suspected Muslim rebels on Thursday night in the southern Philippines.

Lt. Col. Benjie Hao, a local military spokesman, said Friday that the victims, Salik Talipasan, village chairman of Liab, Mamasapano town in Maguindanao, and village councilor Nasser Calzuma were heading home on board a private vehicle when they were ambushed by rebels under 105th Base Command of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front around 6:30 p.m. Thursday.

Hao said Acmad Ampatuan, the mayor, was unhurt.

"They came from a peace covenant signing for the peaceful conduct of next week's village polls," he said.

The country prepares for its local village polls to be held on Oct. 25 where over 300,000 positions for the barangay, or village council, the smallest administrative division heads are up for grabs. The Philippines is composed of at least 42,000 barangays, or villages.

Elections in the country, whether for local or national positions, are often marred by political violence, fraud and disenfranchisement, with warlords and more than a million loose firearms often playing major roles in election results.

Source: Xinhua


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