DEATH IN THE AFTERNOON

A RAID BY SEPARATIST MUSLIMS LEAVES A PROVINCIAL TOWN IN RUINS

Dressed in military fatigues and carrying rifles, the strangers began drifting into town the night of April 3 and continued arriving the next morning. Some came on buses, others in a truck. Residents of the isolated trading town of Ipil (pop. 52,000), 500 mi. south of Manila, noticed the newcomers. But soldiers are a common sight most places in the Philippines, particularly on the turbulent southern island of Mindanao, with its history of Muslim insurgency. "We thought they were real army," said Arturo Dimla, a local accounts clerk.

Until 12:30 p.m. the next day, that is, when one of the gunmen...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!