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    Oct 22, 2015

    Two Chinese diplomats shot dead in Philippines


    CHINA'S consul-general in the Philippines' second biggest city was wounded and two of his members of staff were killed yesterday during a lunchtime gun attack at a restaurant, police said.

    Two other Chinese at the lunch, a consular officer and her husband, were arrested on suspicion of involvement in the shootings, national police spokesman Wilben Mayor told AFP.

    Officers retrieved a semi-automatic .45 Colt pistol and three bullet shells from the scene, he added.

    Police said the attack occurred at 1.30pm local time at Lighthouse, a popular restaurant that serves Filipino food in Cebu, the trading capital of the central Philippines and the nation's second biggest city.

    Staff at the upmarket restaurant told AFP a group of nine people had gathered in a private room to celebrate the birthday of the consul-general, Song Ronghua.

    Restaurant cashier Remedios Rivalde, 27, said she was at work at the cash register outside of the function room when she heard gunshots.

    "I dived under the counter and covered my ears. Then there were other shots that followed," Ms Rivalde said by phone.

    She said the reservation had been made shortly before lunch for the consul-general's birthday, and the group had ordered a banquet that included popular local delicacies such as tuna head, shrimps and roasted pork.

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

    Mr Song was shot in the neck, but his injuries were not believed to be life-threatening and he was in a stable condition in hospital, regional police chief Tom Banas told AFP.

    "The bullet went clear through (his neck)," he said.

    Police identified the dead members of staff as Sun Shan, the deputy consul-general, and Hui Li, a finance officer.

    The police chief said the husband and wife were arrested without any resistance, but the details of the shootings and the motives were not known as they had not immediately cooperated with police.

    "They claim they cannot speak English. Maybe they don't want to give a statement," the police chief said, adding they had a lawyer.

    Lighthouse manager Stephen John Patero said waiters who served the guests in the private room before the shooting heard them shouting at one another. "They are all friends who apparently figured in an argument," he said.