Village chair, companion hurt in shooting inside Cotabato mosque

A manhunt is underway against two men who shot and seriously injured a village chairperson and his companion while they were praying inside a mosque here on Thursday night.

Maj. Rustom Pastolero, city police Station 2 commander, identified the victims as Chairman Amil Sula, 45, of Barangay Rosary Heights 5; and former village councilor Abner Ampaun, 39.

“Both sustained gunshot wounds in their bodies,” Pastolero said

Sula was praying at 7:10 p.m. inside the mosque along 2nd Road, Don E. Sero Street in the village when the gunmen barged inside and opened fire using high-powered weapons.

Ampaun, who was near the official, was also hit in the barrage of gunfire.

Residents claimed several other men praying inside the mosque have sustained minor injuries.

Initial police investigation showed that two motorcycle-riding in tandem assailants with facemasks and hooded jackets arrived and went inside the mosque then fired at the village official.

Pastolero said the gunmen sped away while the victims’ relatives rushed them to the hospital.

Police investigators recovered at the crime scene empty shells for a .45 caliber pistol and an M16 rifle.

“We are still investigating what triggered the shooting, who was behind it, and the possible motive,” Pastolero said, adding that he was uncertain whether the shooting was due to “rido” (family feud) or not.

He said probers are also gathering information to determine if the incident was work-related.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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