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Blasts rock Cotabato City and Maguindanao ahead of polls

NDBC BANTAY HALALAN 2022 • 09:15 AM Mon May 13, 2019
Edwin O. Fernandez
Army bomb experts check on the blast site in Barangay RH 10, Cotabato City on eve of elections. (City Mobile Force Company photo)

COTABATO CITY – Blasts hit this city and the town of Datu Odin Sinsuat in Maguindanao hours before the start of polling today, police said.

Two 40mm rifle grenades fired from a distance exploded about 30 meters away from the compound of Cotabato City Hall in Barangay Rosary Heights 10.

“Nobody was hurt and it was clearly aimed at sowing fear among the electorate,” Colonel Michael Lebanan, city police director said.

No one has claimed responsibility in the grenade blasts near the children’s park of Barangay Rosary Heights 10.

The blast came at about 10 a.m., hours before the election paraphernalia were to be distributed to electoral board members.

Distribution of ballot boxes commenced at 3 a.m. and went on smoothly.

In Datu Odin Sinsuat, a powerful blast hits the municipal hall at past 1 a.m., according to Colonel Ronald Briones, Maguindanao police director.

Nobody was hurt in the blast that was captured by close circuit TV cameras.

Bomb experts said the explosion was caused by a grenade. Briones said two men on motorbike were captured by CCTV tossing what looked like hand grenades and sped away.

Briones believed the motive was to sow fear.

Distribution of election materials continued as scheduled at 2 a.m. as more police and soldiers were deployed. (EOF)

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