MANILA, Philippines (AP) -- Philippine police say five suspected car thieves and robbers have been killed in a gunbattle with policemen north of Manila in an ongoing anti-crime crackdown.
Senior Superintendent Ferdinand Divina says policemen recovered four pistols, including one with a silencer, a grenade and two pairs of handcuffs from the suspects, who were riding in an SUV and a motorcycle when they opened fire early Sunday on policemen at a road checkpoint in Bulacan province.
Divina says police set up checkpoints in Marilao town after being alerted that suspected criminals were roaming around in two vehicles. The gunmen ran into one checkpoint and opened fire, igniting a gunbattle.
Violent crimes are a concern in the Philippines, along with kidnappings for ransom and extortion by al-Qaida-linked militants in the south.