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A U.S. diplomat's husband has been stabbed to death in the Philippines after intervening in a row outside the exclusive residential compound where he lived.
Major George Anikow, a 41-year-old inactive U.S. Marine, was attacked as he walked into the development in an upmarket district of Makati City, part of Metro Manila, early on Saturday morning.
Police said three businessmen and one student were charged today with killing the father-of-three, who had served as a civil officer in Afghanistan before being posted to the Philippines.
Mr Anikow had got involved in a row as he approached the development. He saw security guards at its gates checking the identification of four men, who were inside a luxury Volvo, NDTV.com reported.
The men were refused entry because they did not have a pass for the compound, triggering an argument and a brawl, city police chief Senior Superintendent Manuel Lukban said.
'The men were about to leave when he rapped their vehicle. The suspects then got off the vehicle, and mauled and stabbed him to the back and shoulder,' Lukban told reporters.
He said the American, whose wife Laura is a staff member at the U.S. embassy, died in hospital.
The assailants tried to escape but nearby police, alerted by the security guards, caught them, Lukban said.
A blood-stained military-style knife was recovered from them, he said.
Stabbed: U.S. Marine Major George Anikow (left) served as a civil officer in Afghanistan's Helmand Province in 2009 before moving to the Philippines, where he was killed at the weekend
(File picture) The attack happened in Makati City, an exclusive district of Manila, capital of the Philippines
All the suspects - three businessmen and a university student - were in their 20s, according to Lukban, who said they had all been charged with murder.
The U.S. embassy in Manila confirmed the incident in Makita City's exclusive Bel-Air Village subdivision in a short statement, NDTV.com reported.
CRIME IN MANILA IS 'SIGNIFICANT CONCERN' FOR U.S. NATIONALS
The killing is the first of a foreign diplomat's family member in the Philippines since the famous Hultman-Chapman case.
Claudio Teehankee Jr, son of the late chief justice Claudio Teehankee, was convicted of murdering two people, one of them the son of a U.S. Embassy employee, inside Dasmariñas subdivision also in Makati.
Teehankee Jr served 17 years in jail and was granted a presidential pardon in 2008.
The latest Crime and Security Report issued by the Regional Security Office of the U.S. Embassy says that crime is a significant concern in urban areas of the Philippines.
Typical criminal acts include pick pocketing, confidence schemes, acquaintance scams, and, in some cases, credit card fraud.
It also says that carjacking, kidnappings, robberies, and violent assaults sporadically occur throughout metro Manila and elsewhere in the Philippines.
In June, The Manila Times reported that Metro Manila remains the country’s crime capital with nearly 13,000 criminal incidents recorded during the first four months of the year.
Police figures reveal that from January to end of April, the index crime volume recorded by the police throughout the country reached 45,028. Of this number, 12,952 cases occurred in Metro Manila.
'The embassy condemns the violent attack. The victim was the beloved spouse of a US embassy staff member and a father of three,' embassy spokeswoman Tina Malone said in a statement without releasing his name or further details.
Foreign Affairs Department spokesman Raul Hernandez said the killing appeared to be an 'isolated incident' and not targeted at anyone in particular.
Following news of his death, friends of Mr Anikow have begun posting messages of condolence on the Facebook page for the 4th Civil Affairs Group, the Marine corps he served in.
As part of this group, Mr Anikow was trained in 'Tactical Conflict Assessment Planning and Framework,' a technique that was designed to assist Marines foster relationships with local populations.
Mr Anikow is believed to have been a first tour officer on a consular assignment to the embassy in Manila.
Public records indicate that the embassy had solicited a quotation for a service apartment - believed to refer to temporary accommodation - for Mrs Anikow and her family.
The request included her spouse and their three children aged 12, 10 and six, and a 50lb Labrador, for 40 nights ending on September 24.
It is believed the family then moved to the Bel-Air apartment.
In Afghanistan, Mr Anikow was a Civil Affairs detachment executive officer deployed with Regimental Combat Team 3.
He was pictured in 2009 joking with local children during a patrol in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. His mission was to interact with the local population in order to understand their concerns and identify possible reconstruction and development projects.