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3 dead, 15 hurt in attack by suspected rebels in S. Philippine jail

(Xinhua)

10:46, February 20, 2012

COTABATO, Philippines, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- At least three people were killed while 15 others, including a senior jail official, were wounded when dozens of suspected Muslim rebels attacked a prison facility in the southern Philippines to rescue a high risk inmate.

Around 50 men raided the prison facility in the city of Kidapawan at around 10:30 p.m. Sunday firing rocket propelled grenades at the front gate of the jail, said city police commander Chino Mamburam.

Mamburam said jail guards led by Chief Inspector Romeo Tactakin, provincial director of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, fought back with attackers, prompting them to pull back.

As the armed men withdrew, they fired rocket propelled grenades at a nearby Karaoke bar, leaving two civilians, Ian Carlos Sevilla and Mark Anthony Morales, dead. Also killed was Benny Vldejano, driver of the Philippine National Red Cross.

"They are planning but failed to rescue a high risk prisoner. We ask the government to transfer other high profile inmates to other locations, not in the city," Mamburam said.

Accordingly, gunmen attempted to rescue their comrade identified as Datukan Sama, also known as Kumander Lastikman, a notorious robber and kidnapper leader in Central Mindanao.

The Joint-Task Force arrested him last December in Cotabato City while he plotted another kidnap-for-ransom activity.

"There is an ongoing operation to run after the perpetrators," Mamburam said.

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