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NBI: One soldier killed by cops in Jolo had eight gunshot wounds, others had three

Three of the four soldiers killed by police officers in Jolo, Sulu earlier this week each suffered three to eight gunshot wounds, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) said Thursday.

NBI Deputy Director Ferdinand Lavin said a forensic examination showed one soldier suffered eight gunshot wounds. He said three gunshot wounds were found on the other two.

"Basta ang gunshot wounds would range from three to eight," he said.

Lavin said the autopsy was completed on Tuesday night.

The bodies of the three soldiers --  Major Marvin Indamog, Captain Irwin Managuelod and Sergeant Eric Velasco -- were brought to Manila on Tuesday. The body of the fourth soldier, Corporal Abdal Asula, was immediately buried in accordance with Islamic tradition.

Lavin said the NBI has sent another forensic team to Sulu to augment the agents of the bureau's Western Mindanao Regional Office that is conducting the crime scene investigation in Jolo.

He said he could not disclose if there were powder burns on the soldiers.

The NBI is investigating the death of four soldiers at the hands of police officers in Barangay Walled City, an incident Philippine Army chief Lieutenant General Gilbert Gapay called murder.

Initially calling it a "misencounter," the Philippine National Police (PNP) has since referred to the incident as a "shooting incident."

The military said the soldiers were conducting intelligence operations to track alleged suicide bombers when they were flagged down by the policemen.

The men had identified themselves as military personnel but were told to go to a nearby police station for further verification, police said.

Upon arriving at the station, the police report said, the soldiers allegedly tried to escape, prompting the policemen to chase them. The soldiers allegedly disembarked from their vehicle and pointed their weapons at their pursuers.

Police then fired shots at the soldiers, killing them.

The Army chief said the soldiers never fired. He also said the policemen fled after the incident.

"It was murder. It is murder... there is no misencounter dahil hindi naman pumutok 'yung tropa namin. Nandoon 'yung mga baril nila sa baba. These are PNP personnel, kung may misencounter, nagkaputukan, palagay niyo walang tatamaan na PNP? This was no misencounter here, it was a rubout..." Gapay said.

The PNP has disarmed and relieved from their posts the nine officers involved in the incident. The Jolo police chief has been placed on floating status. -NB, GMA News