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Philippine gunman kills seven in shooting spree

A gunman in the Philippines has killed at least seven people on a rampage through a slum district on the fringes of the capital, Manila. The incident comes as public anger grows over the proliferation of illegal guns.

Relatives of Filipino shooting victims wait outside the emergency building of a government hospital in Manila (Photo: EPA/ROLEX DELA PENA)

Phillipinen Schießerei Opfer

Officials said the man had fatally gunned down seven and wounded six others on Friday, before he was shot and killed by police.

The shootings took place in a slum district immediately south of the capital, Manila. Neighbors of the shooter, identified by police as Ronald Pae, were said to be among the victims although no motive was initially clear.

Provincial governor Jonvic Remulla told local ABS CBN television that those shot included a pregnant woman and seven-year-old girl.

Anxious relatives, pictured, waited for news as the injured were treated, with five of the victims in a critical condition.

The AFP news agency cited local media as saying that Bae was aged 30 and that he had been drinking beer ahead of the killing spree. Police said they were also looking for a second man who was believed to have helped Bae reload his gun.

The shootings come as the country ponders changes to its gun laws following the recent death of a seven-year-old girl who was shot in the head. Stephanie Ella had been watching a New Year's Eve fireworks display with her father when she was hit by celebratory gunfire.

The death prompted public condemnation of authorities for allowing a proliferation of unregistered firearms.

Official figures show there were 1.2 million registered firearms in the Philippines last year, among a population of around 92 million. Some 600,000 unlicensed weapons are estimated to be in circulation.

rc/pfd (AP, AFP, dpa)