Grenade defused in Cotabato city

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COTABATO CITY, Maguindanao: Police and military bomb experts safely defused a live hand grenade Sunday night at the vicinity of a restaurant while a bingo game was going on along Sinsuat Avenue, this city.

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Senior Supt. Raul Supiter, Cotabato City police director, said the grenade was found in front of Cafe Florencio Bingo Center at past 8 p.m.

Responding bomb experts said the grenade was live and the safety lever was already pulled out.

Supiter said the timely information they received from restaurant management prevented what would be a bloody incident in the restaurant’s bingo game area.

According to bingo player Panga Abdulradzak, a light thud was heard by bingo aficionados but ignored it until a security guard confirmed that it was a grenade thrown at the restaurant and alerted the customers.

It was the second grenade incident in Cotabato City since Saturday.

On Saturday night an M-203 grenade launcher was fired at an army vehicle on routine patrol also along the busy Sinsuat Avenue. Two army troopers were wounded and two civilians were slightly injured.

Meanwhile, Colonel Rannie Sevilla, 5th Army Special Forces Battalion commander, said they suspect a certain Ben Montes, alias Black Moro, to be behind the grenade incidents.

Montes was arrested two months ago when his group engaged lawmen in a shoot out along Salipada Kuder Pendatun Avenue. His wife was wounded during the shoot out while his two companions were killed.

Montes was detained but was lately released after posting bail on illegal possession of firearms case.

JULMUNIR I. JANNARAL

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