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Gunmen kill 2 Swiss men at Philippine beach resort

October 6, 2014

OPOL, Philippines (AP) — Two Swiss men were gunned down at a beach resort in the southern Philippines, police said Monday, adding that the attack did not appear to be a robbery or an act of terrorism.

Police Senior Inspector Alwin Baclao said Robert Erich Lober, 67, and Balthasar Johann Erni, 78, were walking out of a beach resort Sunday with their Filipino girlfriends in Opol town in Misamis Oriental province when two men approached and shot them in the head and body.

The two women were not wounded and will be interviewed by investigators, who were reviewing security camera footage in a nearby beach resort where the victims also dropped by.

The brazen attack did not appear to be a robbery because the gunmen, who fled in a taxi, did not take the victims’ cash and jewelry, Baclao said by phone. There also was no sign that Muslim militants from nearby regions were involved, he said.

“They approached casually, fired at the victims, then walked away,” Baclao said, citing accounts by witnesses.

In July last year, suspected militants from a little-known al-Qaida-inspired group called Khilafa Islamiyah Mindanao detonated a bomb that killed eight people and wounded dozens of others in a crowded bar in Cagayan de Oro city, near Opol.

Opol, a fishing town of 52,000 people, has a row of beach resorts that attract both local and foreign tourists, including retirees.

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