• World

Three Chinese Diplomats Shot in the Philippines, Two Fatally

2 minute read
Updated: | Originally published: ;

Two Chinese diplomats were shot dead and another wounded while eating lunch at a restaurant in the Philippine city of Cebu on Wednesday, the BBC reported.

Song Ronghua, the consul general at China’s consulate in the city, was in stable condition at a local hospital as of Thursday morning after taking a bullet to the neck. The deputy consul, Sun Shen, and a finance officer, Li Hui, were dead by Wednesday afternoon.

The three diplomats and six others had gathered at Lighthouse, a restaurant popular with local politicians, to celebrate Song’s birthday. At around 1:30 p.m. local time, a man and a woman entered the private room where they were eating and the man allegedly opened fire.

Two Chinese nationals, identified by CNN as Li Qing Li and his wife Guo Jing, were pursued by police and later detained at the Chinese Consular Office, about a kilometer from the restaurant, in relation to the shooting. On Thursday, Philippine authorities said that the couple — both of whom are diplomats who worked at the consulate — would receive diplomatic immunity and be sent back to China, where any legal action against them will take place.

Chinese diplomats in the Philippines and the Philippine foreign ministry have not commented on the incident.

“We’re still trying to determine the motive for the shooting,” Prudencio Banas, chief superintendent of Cebu’s police force, told the BBC.

More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com