Attack on bus leaves 4 dead in Philippines

08/26/2010 - MANILA, Philippines, Aug. 26 (UPI) -- At least four people, including two marshals, were fatally shot Thursday when men posing as a checkpoint team attacked a bus in the Philippines, officials said.

Lanao del Norte provincial Police Chief Orlando Vinas said investigators were tracking down leads on the suspects' identities and motive, GMA.TV, Quezon City, reported.

"What happened was very sad. Four were killed. One of the police marshals was rushed to a hospital but we learned he had also died," Vinas said.

The RTMI passenger bus conductor and the driver also were killed.

He said the assault occurred near Balili village as the bus was traveling from Cagayan de Oro City to Zamboanga.

The attackers were dressed in fatigues and had a sign indicating they were working a police checkpoint, the police chief said.

Vinas said the suspects told the bus passengers to disembark, then opened fire on the police marshals, who were part of a law enforcement deployment on buses in response to a robbery on the highway several weeks ago, GMA.TV reported.

Lanao del Norte police senior superintendent Orlando Benas said the gunmen burned the RTMI bus after the shooting, the Manila Bulletin reported.

Benas said police were investigating extortion as a possible motive.

"The initial information is that the gunmen are mad at the RTMI management," Benas said. "We don't know if they demanded something and (were) turned down that's why they did this."
(UPI.com)

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