• Army captures 2 motorcycle gunmen in Pagadian City

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    ZAMBOANGA CITY: Government troops captured two motorcycle gunmen following a chase in Pagadian City in Zamboanga del Sur province in the southern Philippines, an army spokesman said on Wednesday.

    Army Lieutenant Franco Suelto, acting spokesman for the 1st Infantry Division, said patrolling soldiers led by Lieutenant Michael Paul Caspe seized an AK 2000 automatic rifle and a KG9 machine pistol, including five magazines and ammunition, from the men—one of them has been identified as Victor Muños, 25.

    He said Muños, a resident of Dumango village in Pagadian City, was also wounded after the rifle he was carrying went off hitting his left leg. The soldiers, who were members of the 53rd Infantry Battalion, brought the wounded gunman to the hospital and eventually handed him and his unidentified companion to the local police.

    Suelto said they received reports from civilians that the two men were frequently spotted armed and roaming during night time in the village of Kawit.

    “According to the residents, the duo had been roaming Barangay Kawit during evenings and sow fear and terror to the neighborhood,” he said without further elaborating.

    Lieutenant Colonel Victor Tanggawohn Jr, the battalion commander, has ordered troops to intensify their patrol following the arrest of the two gunmen.

    Brigadier General Felicito Virgilio Trinidad Jr, the regional army commander, praised the soldiers for the arrest of the Muños and his companion. “The vigilant efforts of our soldiers will continue to ensure peace in the community,” he said.

    It was not immediately known whether the two men were behind the spate of gun attacks and killings in Pagadian City perpetrated by motorcycle gunmen. Just recently, a motorcycle gunman also fired his M16 automatic rifle in the air at Purok Muslim Village in Kawit village and fled with his companion after the indiscriminate attack.

    Armed men riding tandem on motorcycle have been sowing terror in villages in Pagadian where hired killers are actively operating and largely blamed by authorities for the spate of murders in the city. AL JACINTO

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