MANILA, Philippines (AP) – Officials say eight Filipino fishermen are dead and five others are missing after at least five suspected pirates boarded a fishing boat in southern Philippine waters and strafed the crew.
Coast Guard Lt Commander Alvin Dagalea said Tuesday that two fishermen survived Monday night’s attack off the coast near Zamboanga city in Mindanao province by jumping into the water as the gunmen started shooting. The two swam toward a nearby island and were rescued by a passing motorboat.
Dagalea, commander of Zamboanga’s coast guard station, says vessels are searching for the missing fishermen and will tow their boat to its homeport. He says the identity of the attackers is unknown.
Abu Sayyaf militants are suspected to be behind a string of ship attacks in southern Philippine waters.