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Pirates kill 3 in attack on fishing boat.

ZAMBOANGA, Philippines, April 12 Kyodo

Pirates killed three fishermen in an attack on a small boat off Basilan Province in southern Philippines, police said Monday. Police said the pirates, on board a motorboat, attacked the fishing vessel with automatic weapons late Saturday near the Basilan straits, killed the men and stole the vessel's engines and equipment. Fishermen near the area heard a burst of automatic gunfire, but were afraid to go near, police said. The bodies of the fishermen were discovered Sunday on the boat, which was still anchored at sea. The slain fishermen were from Zamboanga Province near Basilan and Cebu Province in the central Philippines. The incident prompted Basilan Gov. Wahab Akbar to order stepped-up military and police patrols to protect fishermen from pirates. "We are stepping up security in the province to save the fishermen from being further slaughtered by merciless people who are not afraid of God," Akbar said. "The situation in the province is volatile because of the presence of armed lawless groups, but the military is doing everything to address the problem," said Capt. Antonio Madula Jr., spokesman for the army unit in Basilan.
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Publication:Asian Political News
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Apr 19, 1999
Words:190
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