By Philippine News Agency
A town mayor and seven others were injured when unidentified men lobbed a hand grenade at the compound of a mosque along the national highway in Talayan, Maguindanao at past noon Friday, an army official said.
Capt. Arvin John Encinas, speaking for the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, said the grenade exploded at the perimeter of the Talayan Grand Mosque across the town hall in Barangay Poblacion at about 12:45 p.m.
Encinas said the blast occurred as the victims were leaving the mosque after the Friday noon prayer.
Investigation showed the suspects fled aboard a while Toyota Innova without a license plate.
Injured were Mayor Nathaniel Midtimbang of Datu Anggal Midtimbang and his father, Kagi Ali Midtimbang, 62, former mayor of Datu Anggal Midtimbang town, and security escorts Thos Kasim, Tho Marcos, Tho Macalangga, Datu Anong Mupak, Sandi Aron and Manap Balumol.
They sustained multiple shrapnel injuries and were rushed to a private hospital in Cotabato City, where they were declared in a stable condition.
The Maguindanao police said another grenade was lobbed at about 12:45 a.m. by men on a motorbike after the first blast but it did not explode.
The motive of the attack is still being investigated as of posting time.
Encinas said the Army’s 19th Infantry Battalion is assisting the Talayan municipal police office in hunting down the perpetrators.