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In Brief

In Brief

Five reported dead in clash with police
MANILA, Philippines
Five members of a criminal gang were killed in an early morning shoot-out with Philippine police yesterday, radio reports said.
The men had stolen a cargo truck and were chased by police before being cornered in a suburban area north of the capital Manila, the reports said, quoting police.
The firefight left all five of the gang members dead. There were no reported police casualties.
Police said the gang had been under surveillance over the past few weeks for a string of heists.
Estrada verdict due
MANILA, Philippines
A Philippine anti-graft court was expected to pass verdict on deposed president Joseph Estrada by July, the head of the state's prosecution team said on Tuesday.
"We are very confident of conviction," Dennis Villa-Ignacio told reporters in Manila, adding prosecutors had decided to waive presenting a rebuttal to hasten the conclusion of the trial, which has dragged on for more than five years.
"We've closed the window of opportunity that the defense could have used to further delay the trial," he said, adding a decision was expected "within 60 days or less."
USAID staff injured
MANILA, Philippines
Three members of the U.S. Agency for International Development were wounded when a grenade exploded in front of their office on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao, a police official said on Tuesday.
Federico Dulay, police chief of North Cotabato province, said two men on a motorcycle were seen fleeing after the blast outside the Growth with Equity in Mindanao office at about 7 p.m.
"We're still investigating the incident to determine the motive for the attack," Dulay told reporters, adding it was the third blast in Mindanao's central region, a hotbed of Muslim insurgency against the central Catholic government since the late 1960s.
Grenade blast
COTABATO, Philippines
Two men on a motorcycle lobbed a grenade at a group of Filipinos working on a foreign-funded road project late Tuesday, wounding an engineer and two workers, an official said.
The attack may have been prompted by the refusal of officials involved in the road project in Pikit town in southern North Cotabato province to pay an unspecified amount of money demanded by an extortion gang, provincial Governor Emmanuel Pinol said.
The two attackers, who wore baseball caps, fled after the attack, he said.
There was no indication that the attack was linked to al-Qaida-linked militants who have staged attacks in North Cotabato, about 950 kilometers southeast of Manila, or to campaigning ahead of the May 14 congressional and local elections, Pinol told reporters.


Updated : 2021-08-05 20:28 GMT+08:00