DAVAO CITY: At least eight people, including six policemen, were injured in a grenade attack near a police station in Maasim town, Sarangani province.
Those wounded in the attack were identified as Inspector Danilo Abayata, the town’s deputy station commander and his men—Police Officers (PO)2 Mark Victor Naya, Rowel Sobretodo, Rommel Bedua, PO1 Almasir Tingkasan and PO1 Sukran Sugod.
They were brought to a hospital, although their conditions were unknown.
The same police report, however, was unclear who carried out the attack, which occurred on Monday evening on the eve of the town’s Catholic feast.
No individual or group claimed responsibility for the explosion that also left two civilians—Leonardo de la Peña and Jetphonie Navales—wounded.
An investigation into the blast was immediately launched to determine whether rebels or jihadist groups were involved in the attack.
The assault coincided with continuing military operations against the jihadist group of Abdullah Maute and New People’s Army (NPA) rebels. Maute’s group had previously beheaded four people in Sarangani and Lanao del Sur provinces, where they are actively operating.
The province is also a lair of rebels from the larger Moro Islamic Liberation Front, which signed an interim peace deal with the government in 2014.