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Sri Lankan businessman gunned down in Philippines

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GENERAL SANTOS CITY, Philippines – A gunman shot dead a Sri Lankan businessman in Cotabato City on Thursday afternoon, September 8.Police identified the victim as 46-year-old Mohamed Rifard Mohamed Siddeek who lived in nearby Barangay Semba in Datu Odin Sinsuat town, Maguindanao.A gun ban is in effect in Maguindanao because of a plebiscite scheduled on September 17, and the town where the victim lived would become the capital of a new province if Maguindanaoans vote in favor of splitting it into two.Police said Sideek and his Filipino wife were estranged.Sideek was attacked while he was stepping out of his car in downtown Cotabato at around 2 pm.Captain Kenneth Rosales, chief of Cotabato’s Police Station 1, said Siddeek was shot thrice to the head and chest.Rosales said the victim was still able to take a few steps to call for help, and he died while being rushed to a hospital.Investigators said the assailant used a caliber .45 pistol based on the empty shells found at the crime scene.Police said they would watch CCTV recordings of some shops to see if the shooting was caught on video.Meanwhile, two separate gun attacks killed a businessman and three others in Basilan province on Thursday morning.Police identified the businessman as 59-year-old Talamon Jemmy, a former councilor of Barangay Lumuton in Lamitan City.Jemmy was on his way to the village of Sengal to attend a conflict settlement involving his nephew when he was attacked by two motorcycle-riding gunmen shortly before noon.Earlier, three people were killed and three others were wounded, including a child, when an armed group sprayed a house with automatic gunfire in Guiong, Sumisip town in Basilan..

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