An army sergeant killed two fellow soldiers and wounded five others, including his commander, in a shooting spree in a southern Philippine military camp, a military spokesman said on Saturday.
Technical Sgt Policarpio dela Cruz fired his M-16 rifle at more than two dozen other members of the army's 2nd Mechanized Battalion moments after they arrived on Friday at the camp in Barira township in Maguindanao province, Lt Col Jonathan Ponce said.
Two soldiers were killed trying to shield the others, including battalion commander Lt Col Aniceto Vicente, who suffered a minor injury, Ponce said. Dela Cruz was under guard in a military hospital where he and the others were in stable condition, he said.
Ponce said the attack appeared unprovoked and could not be attributed to "war shock" because dela Cruz has seen no long-term fighting since being deployed about two months ago to the rebellion-torn southern region.
He said dela Cruz, who has been in the army for 20 years, did not exhibit any unusual behaviour during the trip to the camp from another Maguindanao town.
"The thorough investigation that is being conducted now will determine the root cause of the tragic incident," Ponce said.