Philippines: Bandits kill 13, despite election gun ban

Thirteen people were killed when armed bandits attacked a village in southern Philippines last week, according to reports. An estimated 70 armed men carried out a dawn raid on the village of Tubigan, in Basilian province, 900 miles south of Manila, opening fire before setting houses alight. Some reports have attributed the attack to the Islamist terrorist group Abu Sayyaf (AS) - said to be linked to al-Qaeda - while others suggested it was the result of a local feud. "Ultimately, it is the civilians caught in the crossfire that suffer," said Nikki Delfin, coordinator of PhilANSA (Philippine Action Network on Small Arms). "The reality is, there are really too many weapons in the hands of different groups and organisations. That is why PhilANSA launched "Don't Let Bullets Write Your Ballots: No to Guns, Goons and Gold" as a campaign slogan for the election period."