MANILA, Philippines – Gunmen attacked a truck carrying a southern Philippine mayor and his supporters and killed 13 people including his daughter, police said Friday. The mayor and nine others were wounded in the country's worst violence in campaigning for May elections.
Nunungan Mayor Abdul Manamparan and his political supporters were riding back from a campaign rally when they were ambushed late Thursday on a remote mountain road, Lanao del Norte provincial police chief Gerardo Rosales said.
About 15 unidentified gunmen carried out the attack, Rosales said. Police investigators suspect that they belong to a rival clan.
Manamparan, whose term as mayor ends this year, is running for vice mayor in next month's elections.
Rosales said Manamparan's daughter, Adnanie, and at least two other relatives were among those killed. Two other relatives, including a 15-year-old girl, were among the wounded.
"Our latest count is 13 dead and 10 wounded," Rosales said.
A police report said an officer serving as the mayor's bodyguard was also wounded as he fought off the attackers with an M16 rifle before soldiers and policemen arrived.
Election campaign violence is common in the Philippines. In 2009, 58 people, including 32 journalists, were massacred by alleged followers of a powerful southern provincial clan in the country's worst political violence.
Last week, communist rebels ambushed the convoy of southern Gingoog City Mayor Ruth Guingona, wife of former Vice President Teofisto Guingona, killing two of her aides and wounding her and a police escort.
The New People's Army apologized for harming the mayor and her party but said her bodyguards fired at a rebel checkpoint, prompting them to return fire.