Six civilians dead following shooting in the Phillipines

By John Grafilo

Manila (dpa) – Six civilians were killed when unidentified gunmen opened fire on a house in the southern Philippines, a police spokesman said Thursday.

     Two people were also injured in the attack late Tuesday in Patikul town on Jolo Island, 1,000 kilometres south of Manila, Senior Superintendent Agrimero Cruz said.

     Cruz said the victims had just finished having dinner when the gunmen attacked.

     He said investigators were still determining the motive for the attack and the identities of the suspects.

     Jolo Island is a stronghold of al-Qaeda-linked Islamist militants who have been blamed for deadly terrorist attacks in the Philippines.

     Criminal groups also operate on Jolo while family feuds that often deteriorate into violence are rampant in the area.