(Google map of M’lang, North Cotabato) 

M’LANG, North Cotabato – Six persons, including a police officer and a civilian, were killed while four others were hurt following a shootout here, an official said Thursday.

In a statement, Lt. Col. Realan Mamon, town police chief, identified those killed in the shootout that took place 3 p.m. Wednesday as Staff Sgt. Rudy Amihan Jr. a member of the local police force; civilian Jack Gumilao, 53 and the four unidentified robbers.

Wounded were Corporal Noli Labesores of the M’lang police and Patrolman Hezron Neyra of the Provincial Police Mobile Force, and civilians Tweeny Daza of Barangay Bialong and Jose Patubay of Barangay Bagumbayan, Tulunan, North Cotabato.

Mamon said the running gun battle erupted after a dozen armed robbers stormed Regz and Kirks Bakeshop in Barangay Bagontapay.

“No employees of the bakeshop were hurt but one of the perpetrators shot two customers and snatched their motorcycle just outside the store,” he said, adding that Gumilao, one of those shot, died.

The robbers took some PHP17,000 and personal belongings from the establishment.

Mamon said the robbers fled to various directions with two of them riding the stolen motorcycle.

“The two motorcycle-riding robbers engaged lawmen manning a checkpoint in Sitio Quitos, Barangay Dugong, and got killed, while two others running on foot were slain in a shootout in Purok 9, Barangay Sangat,” he said.

He added that Daza was wounded after one of the suspects shot her to divert the attention of the pursuing police team.

“All members of the robbery gang remain unidentified as of this time as we are also waiting for the relatives of the four slain robbers to claim their bodies for us to identify them,” Mamon said.

Authorities recovered four .45-caliber pistols from the slain robbers and four motorcycles believed to have been used by gang members while fleeing from the scene. (PNA)