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COTABATO CITY – At least 8 people were injured in a grenade attack near a police station in Sarangani’s Maasim town in southern Philippines, reports said Tuesday.

It said among the wounded were 6 policemen, but it was unclear who carried out the attack which occurred on Monday evening on the eve of the town’s Catholic feast.

Police have made no arrest, but it launched an investigation into the blast to determine whether rebels or jihadist groups were involved in the attack. No individual or group claimed responsibility for the explosion that also left 2 civilians – Leonardo dela Peña and Jetphonie Navales.

The wounded policemen have been identified as Inspector Danilo Abayata, the deputy station commander, and his men PO2 Mark Victor Naya, PO2 Rowel Sobretodo, PO2 Rommel Bedua, PO1 Almasir Tingkasan and PO1 Sukran Sugod. They were rushed to hospital, although their conditions were unknown.

The attack coincided with continuing military operations against the jihadist group of Abdullah Maute and the communist New People’s Army rebels. Maute’s group had previously beheaded four people in Sarangani and Lanao del Sur province where they are actively operating.

The province is also a lair of the larger Moro Islamic Liberation Front rebels which signed an interim peace deal with Manila in 2014. (Mindanao Examiner)

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