Jan 6, 2013 / 10:24 pm
At least three police personnel were among 13 suspected criminals who were gunned down in a shootout with Philippine security forces at a highway checkpoint, officials said Monday.
Gunmen riding in three black SUVs opened fire on more than 50 army and police troopers who flagged down the vehicles late Sunday in the coastal town of Atimonan in Quezon province, about 140 kilometres southeast of Manila.
Eleven suspects died on the spot, including a police colonel who was a regional commander and two other officers, said police spokesman Erwin Obal. Authorities were checking the identities of two other victims on suspicion they were either former or current members of the intelligence service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Obal said.
Two gunmen jumped out of one of the cars and fired from a roadside canal, said Lt.-Col. Monico Abang, who led an army platoon in the clash. The rest stayed in two vehicles, which troops raked with gunfire on a sparsely populated stretch of the highway.
More gunmen fired from a third vehicle, which turned around and fled, Abang said. Authorities didn't say how many suspects were believed to have escaped.
Security personnel sometimes collude with criminal syndicates to rob banks or traffic narcotics in an underworld that often includes corrupt politicians. Abang said an initial investigation showed that the gunmen were likely members of a gun-for-hire group operating in provinces south of Manila.
"They rolled down their windows and started firing, so we had to retaliate," Abang said by cellphone from the scene of the clash. "They were clearly outnumbered and outgunned."
On the side of the security forces, a police colonel was shot in the hand and foot and taken to a hospital.
Read more World News
- Pope Francis blesses Harley-Davidsons
- Earthquake strikes south of Mexico City
- 24 dead in new wave of Iraq attacks
- Cat vies for mayor of Mexican city
- N Korea proposes nuclear talks with US
- Rowhani wins Iran election
- A parade fit for a Queen
- Hezbollah vows to keep fighting in Syria
- Woman mauled by chimp can't sue state
- Early results in Iran presidential election
- Newtown, Conn: six months later
- Boston woman pays $560K to park
(Click for RSS instructions.)