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Cotabato City grenade attacks directed at Army, SAF commander says

Local News • 14:32 PM Mon Nov 16, 2015
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By: 
Ferdinandh Cabrera
Sinsuat Avenue corner Rosales Street scene after a rifle grenade attack on Nov. 14 directed at a miliatry vehicle.(Photo by Ferdinandh Cabrera)

COTABATO CITY – Military
authorities stationed in Cotabato City believed that Saturday night’s rifle
grenade attack along a busy national highway here was intended for soldiers
conducting patrol.

(Another grenade was found in Cotabato City Sunday night, see related story) One of the suspects the Army is considering was alias Black Moro who was arrested two months ago in a shootout with lawmen along SK Pendatun Avenue, Cotabato City.Black Moro's wife was wounded during the shootout but his two companions were killed.Colonel Rannie Sevilla, commander
of 5th Army Special Forces Battalion, said Ben Montes aliasBlack Moro who was detained was released on Friday on orders of Regional Trial Court Judge Bansawan Ibarahim after he allegedly posted bail.He was charged with illegal possession of firearms.Sevilla said Black Moro wanted to get back at government forces he clashed with two months ago.The Army official said Black Moro was sighted near Quirino Bridge and is being coddled by an elected politician. We consider him dangerous, he has the capability, he has the means to carry out crimes, Sevilla said.On Saturday night, Sevilla said,SFsoldiers on board a
military vehicle were the target of the suspects who fired a rifle grenade
toward a passing Army vehicle.

The rifle grenade hit a mango
tree and landed in between a passing Mitsubishi mini-cargo truck driven by
Ibrahim Bayao and Army vehicle at 7:30 p.m. at the height of power
interruption.

Sevilla refused to name the wounded soldiers but assured his relatives they are safe now.Bayao and a
civilian were also slightly injured.

Sevilla believed the suspects in
rifle grenade attack were syndicate members who wanted to get back at the
military for the series of arrests it carried out in the city.

Earlier, an explosion occurred at
the compound of Cotabato Light and Power Company (Cotabato Light) at past 6
p.m. which triggered a city-wide brownout.

Cotabato Light personnel believed
the blast was technical in nature but a CCTV footage review showed one of two
men riding tandem on a motorbike tossed something toward the power firm
compound shortly before the explosion.

Senior Supt. Raul Supiter,
Cotabato City police chief, said investigation was on going to determine the
identities of the attackers.

Police also wanted to determine
if the men who tossed a suspected hand grenade at Cotabato Light compound and
those who attacked an Army vehicle were one and the same.

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