MAGUINDANAO, Philippines — Two policemen were killed and two others were hurt when gunmen with assault rifles shot at the municipal police station in Parang town in Sulu Saturday night.
The fatalities, Police Patrolman Arjun Putalan and Police Cpl. Mudar Salamat, succumbed to multiple bullet wounds while being rushed to a hospital.
The attack left two other police officers on duty at the time, Police Master Sergeants Hamid Saribon and Harold Nieva, badly wounded.
Police Brig. Gen. Manuel Abu of the Police Regional Office-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region said Sunday there is a possibility that the armed men behind the attack could be members of a shabu trafficking gang whose dealers were nabbed by their units in Sulu in recent anti-narcotics operations.
“But we are not discounting other angles. Let us give investigators and our intelligence agents enough time to get to the bottom of that incident. Our focus for now is to assist the families of the slain policemen,” Abu said.
Personnel of the Sulu provincial police had killed a number of shabu peddlers in shootouts in the past 12 months.
The gunmen who opened fire at the Parang municipal police station immediately escaped in the direction of Indanan town, according to an initial report from the Sulu provincial police office.
Abu said he has directed Police Col. Michael Bawayan, Sulu’s acting provincial police director, to enlist the help of local officials and members of the provincial peace and order council in identifying the culprits for arrest and prosecution.