ZAMBOANGA CITY: Gunmen ambushed a truck and killed two high school students in Davao del Sur province in the troubled region of Mindanao in southern Philippines, police said on Monday.
Seven others, including the driver, were wounded in the attack, which happened late Sunday in the town of Kiblawan, they added.
Many of the injured are in serious condition at the Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City.
The students, all from Kimlawis National High School, were returning home from a street dancing festival when a group of armed men opened fire as the truck was traveling on the highway.
Police identified those killed as Nibert Malanson and Jimboy Linkanay, both teenagers.
The wounded were identified as Aries Caluyan, 15; James Paul Samo, 18; Jiv Cris Malalay, 17; Mildred Linkanay, 15; Jimboy Sumali, 25; Marlon Malanson; and driver Mark Gil Tol.
The ambush was believed to have been carried out by members of the B’laan tribe and could have been triggered by a clan war.
Police are also looking into whether the ambush was carried out by rebels or members of the communist New People’s Army.
It was not immediately known why or how the gunmen managed to pull off the assault without being detected by the military and police considering the region has been under martial law since May because of the siege of Marawi City by the terrorist Maute Group.