MANILA: A prominent member of a powerful clan suspected of involvement in the killing of 57 people in the Philippines has been taken into custody on Thursday. Andal Ampatuan Jr, a local mayor, surrendered to the authorities but denied organising the killings.
Troops and police swooped on towns run by the Ampatuan clan, arresting 20 men suspected of links with the killings.
The massacre happened on Monday, when a convoy of vehicles used by a rival politician was ambushed.
The passengers were taken to a remote hill region, shot at close range and their bodies dumped in shallow graves.
Mr Ampatuan Jr - mayor of Datu Unsay town - was taken by helicopter from his hometown in the restive Maguindanao province on Thursday morning to a
nearby airport. From there he was flown to the capital Manila for questioning.