MANILA, Philippines — Gunmen ambushed a caravan of political supporters and journalists on their way to file election papers, killing at least 24 people in a massacre considered shocking even for a region notorious for violence between rival clans.
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines said at least 10 local reporters were part of Monday's convoy, but police spokesman Leonardo Espina said Tuesday that authorities had identified the remains of only one so far.
Their newspapers and radio stations have not been able to reach any of the journalists, raising fears that they were killed. If confirmed, it would be the "largest single massacre of journalists ever," according to Paris-based Reporters Without Borders.
"Covering the news has always been dangerous in the Philippines, but the wanton killing of so many people makes this an assault on the very fabric of the country's democracy," said Bob Dietz, Asia program coordinator for the Committee to Protect Journalists in New York.
The president's office termed Monday's attack the worst political violence in recent history. Many among the 24 dead were women, including two lawyers, Espina said.
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Source: Associated Press, "24 killed in election massacre in the Philippines," November 24, 2009,http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5ha6FJ6JRsaJkvGnvppty2U...