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4 hurt when bomb explodes inside candidate's house in Maguindanao town

 • 21:58 PM Wed May 11, 2016
Malu C. Manar

KIDAPAWAN CITY – The canvassing in a town in Maguindanao has yet to be completed as tension ran high after the house of a mayoralty candidate was bombed Monday by still unidentified suspects, wounding at least four of his supporters. Rohollah Pendatun Ali, municipal councilor of General Salipada K Pendatun, said an M-79 grenade exploded while mayoralty candidate Datu Bimbo Pendatun Ali was meeting his supporters inside Ali’s compound, just few hours after voting started. Before the explosion, shots were directed against them by still unidentified gunmen. Minutes after, the suspects exited towards the marsh, he said. One of those wounded during the attack was identified as Fatima Kamensa, Rohollas’ cousin.Victims were rushed to Tomboc Salayog Hospital in nearby Tacurong City in Sultan Kudarat for treatment. Rohollah and Datu Bimbo are brothers whose houses are located inside the Ali residence at Poblacion, General SK Pendatun. Rohollah said his brother is leading the mayoral race.But the Commission on Election (Comelec) has yet to complete the transmission.He stressed other election returns, especially those coming from remotest villages, have not been transmitted to the municipal hub due to poor signal and problems on security. In Pagalungan town, also in Maguindanao, some 3,000 villagers in Barangay Damalasak have sought shelter to their relatives’ houses after a number of armed men attacked their village while voting was ongoing on Monday. Senior Inspector Blayn Lumase, chief of Pagalungan PNP, said residents still fear for their lives as warring clans prepare for possible reprisals. Three weeks before the elections, a leader of an armed Moro group was killed when he and his group engaged in an armed encounter with another Moro group believed to be supporters of a mayoralty candidate in Pagalungan town. The highest position in Pagalungan is being contested by two warring political clans – one coming from Mamasabulod family and the other from Matalam clan. Despite the armed fighting, villagers trooped to Damalasak Elementary School to cast their votes but had to seek cover when a bomb exploded, about 200 meters away from the polling place. The explosion took place, around 630 a.m., just few minutes after the voting started. Although none was wounded, the incident brought fears and anxieties among the villagers. MALU CADELINA MANAR

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