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A Marine Forces Reserve officer, the husband of a U.S. diplomat, was stabbed to death over the weekend in the Philippines, Marine Corps officials confirmed.
Maj. George Anikow 41, was attacked at about 4 a.m. Saturday by four men near the gate to the Bel-Air neighborhood in suburban Manila, where he lived with his wife, Laura, and three children, according to news reports. Local police have arrested four men, three businessmen and a student, in connection with the attack and charged them with murder, according to wire reports.
The incident apparently occurred when the Filipinos, riding in a Volvo, approached the gate, hoping to pass through the area en route to Palm Village, where one of the men lived.
The Philippine Star newspaper reported that Anikow, who allegedly had been drinking, was standing next to the security guard and interrupted his conversation with the men to tell them they needed to present identification to the guard. Anikow then allegedly tapped the car several times, according to the newspaper.
The incident escalated, and he was beaten and stabbed.
Anikow, of Monmouth, N.J., served eight years as an infantry officer on active duty after his commissioning in 1994 and was working as an Individual Mobilization Augmentee in a joint billet with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Maj. Kate S. Vanden Bossche, a Marine Forces Reserve spokeswoman in New Orleans. The assignment allowed him to drill as a reservist and work in the Philippines, she said.
State Department officials are assisting authorities with the investigation.
A message on the official website of the U.S. Embassy in Manila stated: "We mourn the loss of a beloved member of our embassy family. Our heartfelt condolences to his family."
Marine Forces Reserve is helping arrange military honors for his funeral, which is to take place in the United States, Vanden Bossche said.
In recent years, Anikow was mobilized twice as a civil affairs officer, including a nine-month combat tour in Afghanistan in 2009, according to Marine Corps records. While there, he served with the 4th Civil Affairs Group. During his earlier active-duty time, Anikow deployed on the amphibious assault ship Guam during the 1996 operations Joint Endeavor and Assured Response.
He received numerous military awards, including the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Navy-Marine Corps Achievement Medal, two awards of the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, three awards of the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon and the Humanitarian Service Medal.