4th blast rocks Cotabato, vendor hurt

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COTABATO CITY: Another grenade blast rocked this city on Friday morning near the main entrance of Padama Hotel along Quezon Avenue, slightly wounding a sidewalk vendor.

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It was the fourth grenade-throwing incident since Saturday.

The police identified the victim as Normanan Baliwan of Malagapas district

Baliwan said he was clearing the sidewalk of his stuff and hauling dirt to a garbage bin when the grenade exploded.

The blast, from an improvised explosive device, caused no damage to the hotel.

On Wednesday, a grenade was lobbed at the main gate of National Irrigation Administration Maguindanao office. No one was reported hurt.

Earlier on Monday, a grenade was also tossed at the roof of Police Station 2 office but it did not explode.

Last Saturday, a smoke grenade was thrown at the office of Traffic Management Unit (TMU) that police believed was aimed as diversionary tactic to give detainees a chance to escape. The TMU office is located beside the Police Station 1 detention cell.

Police have attributed the series of grenade attacks to drug figures affected by the government’s massive anti-drug campaign as Cotabato City has been noted for proliferation of illegal drugs.

JULMUNIR I. JANNARAL

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