MANILA, Philippines – A woman died and two others were injured after a group of armed men opened fire at a passenger barge in Basilan past midnight Monday.
The lone fatality was Nurhiba Ahamad, 46, a resident of Barangay Suligan, Tabuan Lasa, Basilan.
The injured victims were Hadja Patricia Kadil, 46; and Awina Ahamad, 35.
The boat was reportedly carrying some 400 passengers from Zamboanga City. The passengers were allegedly headed to a registration center in Tabuan-Lasa town.
The military said at least four men on board two pump boats were seen firing shots at the passenger barge in Maluso town at around 1 a.m.
Reports also revealed that the passenger barge was owned by Barangay Canas, Maluso town captain Mohammad Nordani.
A general voters’ registration is ongoing for the entire Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), in an effort by the Commission on Elections and concerned civil society groups to cleanse off the region’s voters’ list, which is believed to be fraught with voters who are underaged, registered in multiple areas, or already dead.
The automated registration started last July 9 and will run until tomorrow, July 18. - reports from Queenie Casimiro, ABS-CBN News Zamboanga; and Edwin Sevidal, dzMM