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NORTH COTABATO (UPDATED) - A town mayor earlier tagged by President Rodrigo Duterte as a "narco-politician" was killed in a shootout in North Cotabato early Friday.

Mayor Samsudin Dimaukom of Datu Saudi Ampatuan was shot dead together with his nine bodyguards in Old Bulatukan in Makilala at 4:30 a.m.

They were brought to the Makilala Specialist Hospital and Midway Hospital for treatment but were declared dead on arrival.

Initial reports said the mayor's convoy was flagged down at a checkpoint manned by the Anti-Illegal Drugs Group and Regional Public Safety Battalion 12 in Barangay Bulatukan based on information that the group will transport illegal drugs to Maguindanao and Cotabato area.

The mayor's convoy reportedly did not stop and instead fired at the operatives.

Authorities have yet to issue a statement on what they recovered from the mayor's convoy.

Last September, authorities conducted a search on Dimaukom's compound in Maguindanao but no contraband was found.

The names of the mayor and his wife, Vice Mayor Anida Dimaukom, were earlier included on Duterte's list of incumbent and retired government officials allegedly involved in the illegal drug trade. The couple denied the allegations. 

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