Three people killed in police-pirates clash in southern Philippines

A policeman and two suspected pirates were killed and eight people were wounded in a clash at sea off the Philippines' southernmost province of Tawi-Tawi, a police report said Wednesday.

The police officer was killed while three other policemen and three members of the civilian security force of Languyan town, about 1,100 kilometers (700 miles) south of Manila, were wounded Monday when they tried to intercept a group of suspected pirates who had stolen a boat engine.

A report by the regional police said the civilian security men were in a speedboat when they came under fire from the suspected pirates as they approached, triggering a 10-minute gunfight. Two of the suspected pirates were killed and two others injured.

The area, close to the border with Malaysia, is notorious for Muslim rebels and pirates.

The Philippines and Malaysia have recently intensified naval patrols along their borders to deter Muslim guerrillas and pirates from attacking ships, reports the AP.


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