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Chinese officials gunned down in Philippines

A pair of Chinese diplomats have been killed and one injured at an upscale restaurant in the city of Cebu. Police have taken two Chinese nationals into custody.

China's consul general in Cebu City was wounded and two of his staff members were killed Wednesday during a lunchtime attack, police said. Two other Chinese at the lunch, a consular officer and her husband, were arrested on suspicion of involvement in the shootings, police spokesman Wilben Mayor said.

The Lighthouse restaurant manager Stephen John Patero said his staff did not witness the shooting because the birthday banquet was in a private room. But he said waiters had heard shouting beforehand.

"They are all friends who apparently figured in an argument," Patero said.

Officers retrieved a semi-automatic .45 Colt pistol and three shell casings from the scene.

Police identified the dead Chinese consular officials as Sun Shan, the deputy consul general, and Hui Li, a finance officer. Consul-General Song Ronghua was wounded.

Regional police chief Tom Banas said the husband and wife suspects were arrested without any resistance. But the couple refused to cooperate with police.

"They claimed they can not speak English. Maybe they don't want to give a statement," Banas said, adding they had a lawyer.

Citing witnesses and video from a restaurant security camera, the police chief said the attacker first fired at the consul-general and his deputy in the room. The finance officer ran outside the room but the assailant followed and shot her down, he said.

Restaurant staff said the group had ordered a banquet for the consul's birthday celebration that included popular local delicacies such as tuna head, shrimps and roasted pork.

"They ordered a lot of food, but no liquor," a cashier said.

Cebu City is a commercial hub and tourism destination of about a million people, is 570 kilometers (350 miles) south of the capital Manila.

jar/bw (AP, AFP)

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