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Gunmen shoot dead town mayor at Philippine airport

Updated: 2013-12-20 17:22
( Agencies/Xinhua)

MANILA - Gunmen on Friday shot dead a town mayor and three other people at the airport in the Philippine capital, Manila, sending travellers fleeing for safety, authorities said.

Ukol Talumpa was mayor of a town called Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur. Three passengers were also killed and four people were wounded, airport manager Jose Honrado said.

Talumpa was waiting for a ride with his family outside the airport terminal when the gunmen approached and shot him at close range, Honrado said.

"We are still investigating the motive," he said. The mayor's relatives declined to comment. The gunmen, who were wearing police uniforms, escaped on a motorcycle.

Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III condemned on Friday the killing of the town mayor in southern Philippines and three others at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 in the capital region of Metro Manila.

Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said Aquino has ordered the Philippine National Police (PNP) to pursue the suspects.

"We condemn this blatant act of violence that has killed an innocent bystander and imperiled the safety of citizens in the airport," Coloma said.

He assured that the Philippine government will undertake all the necessary measures to ensure the safety of Filipinos and visitors this holiday season.

Manila's Ninoy Aquino International Airport is named after prominent opposition politician Benigno Aqunio, who was shot dead there in 1983 as he arrived home from self exile.

His son, also Benigno Aqunio, is now president.

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