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Philippine shooting sparks gun-control talk

MANILA, Philippines -- A man with domestic problems fatally shot eight people, including a pregnant woman and two children, after using alcohol and drugs in a rampage yesterday near the Philippine capital that ended when he was shot dead by police, officials said.

At least eight other people were wounded in Kawit township, about 10 miles south of Manila, Cavite provincial Gov. Jonvic Remulla said.

The violence happened days after the death of a 7-year-old girl who was hit in the head by a stray bullet during New Year's Eve revelry in Manila sparked public criticism over lax gun control in the Philippines.

Yesterday's rampage fueled pressure for more assertive action by authorities to deal with unlicensed firearms.

Ronald Bae, killed in the shootout with police, had been on a "drug and alcohol binge" with his friends since Monday, drinking and taking methamphetamine, Remulla said.

Bae had left his Kawit neighborhood about a year ago after he lost an election for village chairman. He returned Monday because of a "marital problem" with his wife, whom he had left before New Year's, Remulla said.

It was not immediately clear why Bae went on the rampage. "He just shot at anyone he saw," Remulla said. "You could see that these were really acts of a madman."

Among the victims was a 7-year-old girl who was shot inside her home.

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