3 dead in separate ambuscades in Lanao

Posted at 12/29/2009 12:40 PM | Updated as of 12/29/2009 12:40 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Three people died, including a policeman and a regional official, in separate ambuscades in Lanao del Sur on Tuesday morning.

A radio dzMM report said gunmen ambushed a passenger van, killing a civilian identified as Hadji Paroud Edres, along Narciso Highway in Barangay Diamaro, Malabang town.

Another passenger van was also ambushed in Balabagan town, killing 2 more persons.

According to police, the fatalities were a member of the regional police mobile group and a regional legislative assembly executive assistant of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

The names of the victims were still being confirmed, as of posting time.

The ambuscades happened despite heavy military presence in the region.

The military poured troops into the region after the massacre of 57 people in Ampatuan town, Maguindanao province last November 23.

Members of the powerful political clan of the Ampatuans have been arrested and charged for the massacre.

Authorities claim that the Ampatuans have on its payroll members of militia groups in the province.