Cotabato City—A police operation to arrest a former village chief in nearby Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao led to the killing Saturday of a police officer and 12 alleged followers of the target.
Major Esmael Madin, chief of the Philippine National Police’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in Maguindanao, said 12 men backing former village head Datu Pendatun Talusan were killed along with him during the operation that lasted for over five hours from predawn.
In the exchange of fire, Police Sergeant Reynel Pido of the CIDG was also killed.
Madin said Talusan, former chairman of Barangay Limbo in Sultan Kudarat, and five others were “the subject of an arrest warrant for frustrated murder, robbery with murder, and double frustrated homicide.”
Their resistance to the arrest warrant led to clash between the ex-village chair’s group and the arresting officers. Three other police officers and three civilians were also wounded in the crossfire.
Backed by a group of armed men, Talusan reportedly fired at the police, who were assisted by Marines from the Philippine Navy.
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