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Gunmen kill 9 police, villagers in Philippines

Published: Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

MANILA, Philippines – Gunmen ambushed a truckload of policemen and village guards who helped guard a village festival, killing nine and wounding two others Sunday in a mountainous central Philippine province, officials said.

The gunmen raked the victims' truck with rifle fire before dawn in the foothills of Mount Kanlaon in La Castellana town in Negros Occidental province. Among the dead were a police officer and several village guards, police officer Gary Genelaso said by telephone.

Police set up road checkpoints and launched a manhunt for the attackers, Genelaso said.

Army and police officials said the attackers may have been communist New People's Army guerrillas or armed men from an illegal logging syndicate.

The killings are the latest in a flurry of gun violence that has revived calls for tighter gun controls. The country has long grappled with communist and Muslim insurgencies, crime and armed groups controlled by politicians, warlords and powerful families.

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