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Ustadz shot while praying in Basilan, survives attack

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A Muslim religious cleric or ustadz was shot while performing a regular prayer inside a masjid (mosque) in Barangay Tipo-Tipo in Basilan province at about 7:00 p.m., Friday.

Tipo-Tipo municipal police chief, Insp. Gilbert Gorospe, identified the religious leader as Hasan Sali, 45, resident of Albarka, Basilan, saying he is in stable condition after sustaining a gunshot wound on his right leg.

Sali was about to end the regular Friday Sambayang (prayer) when a lone gunman appeared, shot him using a .45-caliber pistol, and escaped on foot to an unknown direction.

No one in the area was able to identify the suspect.

"Wala kasing kuryente sa area pagdating ng alas-6 ng gabi. Sobrang dilim na ang lugar. Nabigla rin lahat, kaya walang nakahabol sa suspek (There was no electricity at about 6 p.m. The place was dark. Everyone was also surprised, that's why no one was able to react and get the suspect)," Gorospe said in a phone interview.

The victim was brought to the nearest hospital in Isabela for medical treatment.

In August, Rev. Fr. Euclid Balosbalos, the parish priest of Santa Isabel Cathedral Parish in Isabela, Basilan was held up by unidentified suspects.

Police said Balosbalos was driving his motorcycle along Menzi-Cabunbata highway in Barangay Menzi, Isabela, when unidentified motorcycle-riding suspects, who were tailing him, suddenly hit him on the face with a hard object.

The priest sustained bruises all over his body and was immediately brought to a hospital. He survived the attack. (PNA)




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