Unidentified gunmen shot dead six villagers when they abducted a Filipino business couple in a southern Philippine town, police said on Saturday.
The gunmen broke into the couple's house in a coastal village of Sirawai town in Zamboanga del Norte province and forcibly took the victims about 5pm local time on Friday, Xinhua news agency quoted a police officer as saying.
The officer, Edwin de Ocampo of the Zamboanga del Norte provincial police, said the couple's neighbour � a member of the military's militia force - threw caution to the wind when he attempted to rescue the victims.
The military personnel was killed in a brief shootout with the kidnappers.
Five more villagers were also gunned down by the kidnappers as they escaped, said De Ocampo, adding that a child sustained injuries in the crossfire.
He said an operation was launched to rescue the couple.
According to the police, it was the second abduction in Sirawai town this year.
Early this year, a family of six was abducted in the town. The victims were later found in the remote Sulu province, police said.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK