Grenade lobbed at civil– military unit in Cotabato


ZAMBOANGA CITY: Another grenade attack rocked Cotabato City Wednesday night hitting the headquarters of a military propaganda unit in Maguindanao.

Authorities said a grenade was hurled towards the 6th Civil-Military Operations Battalion headquarters in PC Hill that partially damaged its bamboo perimeter fence. No casualties were reported.

The attack came a week after two unidentified men also lobbed a grenade on a group of patrolling soldiers along Sinsuat Avenue in Cotabato City, wounding at least two infantrymen and a civilian.

Senior Supt. Raul Supiter, Cotabato City police director, said the blast at CMO headquarters was believed to have been perpetrated by motorcycle riding men.

“We are following up a lead,” he said.

No individual or group claimed responsibility for the latest attack and the 6th Infantry Division did not issue any statement on the spate of violence targeting soldiers.

For the last two weeks since November 14, four grenade attack has been recorded in the city that left four persons injured, including two soldiers.

The CMO headquarters is located along Veterans Avenue which served as detour route from commuters from downtown area to Mabini Street.

Colonel Ranulfo Sevilla, 5th Special Forces Battalion commander, who lost two men in previous rifle grenade attacks, blamed a notorious syndicate who wanted to get back at the military for previous operations.

He named Ruben Montes, a gang leader operating in Cotabato City whose three followers, including his wife, were killed in a shootout with the special forces group along SK Pendatun Avenue.

Montes was arrested for gun possession and was charged accordingly but was freed on November 13 after posting property bail bond.

The next day, Sevilla added, Montes and his men fired a rifle grenade at the Cotabato Light power firm, triggering citywide brownout followed by rifle grenade attack on Army KM-450 vehicle that injured two soldiers and two civilians. Another grenade was lobbed but did not explode in front of a bingo center along Sinsuat Avenue the following day.

“We believed all these were the works of Montes because he was capable, he has acts to grind against the SF and is protected by a local official,” Sevilla told reporters without naming the official.



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