ZAMBOANGA CITY (Mindanews/08 April) – A military and police team deployed to serve a warrant of arrest against the leader of a band of pirates on Thursday afternoon, were fired at, triggering a clash ended in the killing of nine pirates, including its leader, and the wounding of two policemen, the spokesperson of the Western Mindanao Command (WesMinCom) said.
Lt. Col. Randolph Cabangbang said the firefight started at around 2:10 p.m. Thursday in Barangay Kaliantana, Naga town in Zamboanga Sibugay.
Cabangbang said the pirates, led by Kamsa Asdanal, were hiding in one of the houses and opened fire at the military and police team deployed to serve Asdanal his warrant of arrest for murder, in Purok 4, Barangay Kaliantana.
Asdanal and his followers were identified by the police to be involved in a string of piracy cases and were allegedly behind the extortion activities in the province of Zamboanga Sibugay.
Cabangbang said the troops returned fire and the clash ended at around 6:15 pm., with two pirates killed.
He that when the troops were about to retrieve the bodies, they were met by more gunshots, one of which hit an electric power box, causing short circuit that in turn triggered a fire that rapidly engulfed at least six houses.
He said seven more pirates were killed while two policemen were injured in the succeeding firefight.
The troops recovered four Garand rifles, two M-14 rifles, one M-16 rifle, an M-79 grenade launcher, a caliber .45 pistol and several rounds of ammunition, Cabangbang said.
He said the Zamboanga Sibugay Police Office has sent its Scene of the Crime Operatives to identify the slain pirates.
Chief Supt. Elpidio de Asis of the Zamboanga Peninsula Police Office (ZPPO) Asdanal was among those slain. (MindaNews)