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(UPDATE) Cops eye 3 angles in Sultan Kudarat grenade attacks

Local News • 21:29 PM Mon Feb 22, 2016
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By: 
Ferdinandh Cabrera
A man points to a site where one of the grenades exploded in Esperanza, Sultan Kudarat on Feb. 21, 2016. (Photo by Ferdinandh Cabrera)

ESPERANZA,
Sultan Kudarat – Police here are looking at three possible angles
that led to the grenade throwing incident at a local peryahan” carnival here
and claimed the life of a 6-year-old boy and the wounding of about 40 others, a
police official said.Chief Insp.
Bryan Bernardino, Esperanza town police chief, said the grenade attack which
occurred at 8:20 p.m. Sunday was triggered by a personal grudge between the
suspects and the carnival operator.

Second, the
target of grenade attack was the crowded festival, and third, the involvement
of Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF),” Bernardino said.

Earlier, the military
has warned of BIFF diversionary tactics to ease pressures Army air and ground assaults
in Datu Salibo, Maguindanao. The Esperanza PNP today clarified its earlier social media posts at 3 p.m.that the fatality has rose to two with the death of Edwin Villaruel, 47. It posted at past 4 p.m. that Villaruel is still alive.

Quoting
witnesses, Bernardino said the suspects tossed the grenades in the middle of
the festival which include minors as is clients and on-lookers.

After tossing
the MK-2 explosives, the suspects fled on a motorbike. One of the grenades
failed to explode.

Bernardino said
cartographic sketches of the suspects have been released.

Elton John
Antonio, a 6-year-old boy, was eating balut” near the blast site. He sustained shrapnel in his head that caused
his death.

sand//fbcdn-photos-h-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xtf1/v/t1.0-0/p261x260/10400261_1265673363459078_7944318096991202125_n.jpg?oh=345fdb4eca48eea5a3ea73cb397d768eandampoe=5764AAFDandamp__gda__=1466919660_d4f28d6cf8cd50ace96b085c42ec109b (Relatives of 6-year-old Elton John Antonioview his remains at a local funeral parlor in Esperanza - Ferdinandh Cabrera)Reports have it
that one of the suspects, who tried to return to the blast site, was arrested
after witnesses pointed him as among the grenade thrower.

Colonel Lito
Sobejana, 601st Infantry Brigade commander who has jurisdiction over
Esperanza, said soldiers had been assisting the local police in identifying and
hunting the suspects.

One of the 40
wounded carnival guests was in critical condition at a local hospital. About 20 others remained in the medical
facility due to serious blast injuries.

The town is
celebrating its patronal fiesta and the peryahan” was among the attractions.

Esperanza Mayor
Helen Latog, who condemned the grenade attack, has convened the Municipal Peace
and Order Council Monday morning to assess the town’s peace and order
situation. (Ferdinandh Cabrera)

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