Trooper runs amuck in Basilan kills 6, injures 9 others

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An Army corporal shot and killed five soldiers, including two junior officers, when he went amuck in Sumisip, Basilan Thursday morning.

The suspect, who was also shot and killed by responding troops, managed to wound nine others before being neutralized, according to Philippine Army spokesperson Col. Benjamin Hao.

He said the incident took place around 8:45 a.m. inside the headquarters of Bravo Company, 64th Infantry Battalion at Upper Cabengbeng, Sumisip, Basilan.

Among those killed were a first and second lieutenant and four enlisted personnel, including the one who went amuck.

Of the nine wounded, eight were military personnel, the highest ranking a 1st lieutenant, and one civilian.

He declined to give the names of the suspect and victims pending notification of their next-of-kin.

Hao said the victims were conducting a bible study when the suspect, described as a mortar gunner, fired his M-16 automatic rifle in a long sweeping burst.

The Army spokesperson said there were no indications that the suspect will go berserk as the latter had just returned from vacation.

However, fellow soldiers said the suspect had become withdrawn lately.

Hao said the fatalities and wounded personnel were immediately airlifted to 104th Infantry Brigade headquarters in Tabiawan, Isabela for transfer to Western Mindanao Command headquarters in Lower Calarian, Zamboanga City.

Hao said a medical and psychological team will be deployed immediately to the military facility to determine the cause of the incident.

The Army spokesperson said they also sought the help of the police in investigating the incident. (PNA / Priam F. Nepomuceno)

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