Tuesday Feb, 18 2020 09:40:10 PM

Explosion rip through premises of church in Datu Piang

Peace and Order • 13:15 PM Tue Oct 15, 2019
John M. Unson

MAGUINDANAO --- A grenade blast rocked late Monday the vicinity of a Catholic church in Datu Piang town that a militant bloc that residents hate for acts of terror had threatened to destroy.  

No one was hurt in the explosion that ripped through the premises of the St. Therese church in the town proper of Datu Piang, Maguindanao at past 7:00 p.m. Monday but the incident triggered panic among villagers.

Talks have since been spreading around purporting that the group of cleric Abu Toraife, whose real name is Abdulmalik Esmael, was responsible for the bombing.

Abu Turaife is leader of one of three factions in the outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, operating in the fashion of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and blamed for all bombings in central Mindanao since 2011.

Followers of Abu Turaife had vandalized early on the Catholic chapel in Maguindanao’s Shariff Aguak town, about 10 kilometers away from Datu Piang.

Abu Turaife is eloquent in stoking animosity towards non-Muslims in his sermons during Friday worship rites.

There are more than a dozen foreign terrorists in his group, among them Indonesians, Malaysians and at least three others with Middle Eastern features, according to barangay officials in towns along the 220,000-hectare Delta where he and his men are holding out.

Major Gen. Diosdado Carreon of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division said Tuesday military intelligence agents in Maguindanao are now helping the provincial police determine the exact identities of the suspects in Monday’s bombing in Datu Piang.

Carreon said security in the municipality have been tightened to forestall a repeat of the incident. 

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