AMBUSH | Mayor in Lanao del Norte dies, escorts hurt in Iligan City

The mayor of the town of Pantar in Lanao del Norte, Mohammad Exchan Gabriel Limbona, was killed, while two of his escorts were wounded after his vehicle was ambushed along the national highway in Iligan City Thursday evening, December 29, 2016. "The incident happened at around 9:50 p.m. at Purok 5G, Sitio Paitan, Barangay Dalipuga in Iligan City. Mayor Mohammad Exchan Gabriel Limbona was driving a black Ford Everest SUV when unidentified armed men opened fire on the vehicle, hitting Libona five times while two of his escorts suffered minor wounds on their legs," said Superintendent Roy Ga, director of the Iligan City Police Office (ICPO). The wounded 52-year-old mayor was rushed to the Adventist Medical Center, but was declared already dead by the attending physician.

The report from ICPO station 3 identified the escorts as PO1 Russel Jay Paltingca, 27 years old, and PO1 Saldamin Hadji Naim, 28, both from Pantar municipal police station, who were both wounded in their left and right legs. The wife of the mayor, Ginima Limbona and daughter Sittie Aisa Limbona, both survived the attack unscathed. "Per initial investigation, we think this ambush could be due to a Rido or family feud. We are creating a special investigation task group, to conduct a follow up investigation and solve this case as early as possible and, we hope, avert further bloodshed from retaliatory actions from clan members if, indeed, this is a case of Rido," said Ga. Ga pointed out that there could be three or more attackers as they recovered ammunition casings from three different firearms. "We got shells from an M16 assault rifle, super cal .38 and 9mm pistols. The suspects fired at the driver's side of the vehicle, and could have fired the shots from another vehicle," said Ga.
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