Philippines probes deadly police shooting of soldiers

Philippines’ defense chief Delfin Lorenzana, above, said the shootings were ‘a very unfortunate incident.’ (AFP file photo)
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Updated 02 July 2020

Philippines probes deadly police shooting of soldiers

  • Plainclothes soldiers were in pursuit of ‘bomb makers and suicide bombers’ from the Abu Sayyaf militant group

MANILA: Philippine authorities are investigating the deaths of four soldiers shot by police in the country’s restive south, with the defense minister vowing Thursday to “get to the bottom” of the incident.
The plainclothes soldiers were in pursuit of “bomb makers and suicide bombers” from the Abu Sayyaf militant group when they were attacked by police in the Muslim-majority province of Sulu on Monday, the army has said.
Army chief Gilbert Gapay has accused the nine officers involved of murdering the men, while Philippine National Police has described the shooting as a “misencounter.”
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the shootings were “a very unfortunate incident,” adding that the dead soldiers “were just doing their jobs.”
“We don’t want this to escalate. We will get to the bottom of this,” he said.
The country’s National Bureau of Investigation was probing the incident, and Lorenzana said the findings should be released soon.
The army has accused the police of firing on the soldiers even after they identified themselves as members of the military.
The officers have been detained while the investigation is under way, said Interior Secretary Eduardo Ano.
President Rodrigo Duterte will visit police and military commanders in the south, his spokesman Harry Roque said, without specifying when.
Abu Sayyaf is based in the south and has engaged in bombings as well as kidnappings of Western tourists and missionaries for ransom since the early 1990s.
They also have ties to Daesh militants seeking to set up a caliphate in Southeast Asia.


India records nearly 38,000 new coronavirus infections

Updated 24 November 2020

India records nearly 38,000 new coronavirus infections

  • India has the second-highest number of cases in the world, after the United States

MUMBAI: India said on Tuesday it had recorded 37,975 new infections of coronavirus, with the daily increases, tallied by Reuters, remaining below the 50,000 mark for more than two weeks, having peaked in September.
The latest increase brought the total number of cases to 9.18 million, the health ministry said. Deaths rose by 480, with the total now at 134,218.
India has the second-highest number of cases in the world, after the United States.