MANILA - Three government personnel were killed in an encounter with the hired muscle of a suspected drug lord in Midsayap, North Cotabato.
Provincial police chief Senior Supt. Emmanuel Peralta said the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Army's 602nd Infantry Brigade were supposed to serve a search warrant on the house of alias "Madrox Masgal," an alleged top drug trafficker.
The operatives were just about to enter Masgal's house at past 5 a.m. when the suspected men of Masgal hailed bullets on them.
Peralta said three government men were killed in the ensuing firefight while eight others were wounded in action.
Police were still verifying reports that two members of the Masgal group were also killed in the encounter.
The Army, meanwhile, was still conducting clearing operations in the area, as of posting time.
A road near the clash site was closed to motorists at 12 noon due to intelligence information that the Masgal group buried explosives there. It was opened to traffic at around 3 p.m. -- Report from Lore Mae Andong, ABS-CBN News