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Cotabato police in heightened alert after grenade attack

KIDAPAWAN CITY – Security forces have been alerted on Saturday in South Cotabato province following a grenade attack at a municipal station there.

Police said the explosion damaged the station in Tampakan town, but there had been no reports of casualties from the attack which occurred Friday evening. Police investigators have recovered fragments of an M79 rifle grenade used in the attack.

No individual or group claimed responsibility for the blast, but communist rebels and other armed groups are actively operating in the area.

Just recently, two policemen were shot and wounded when gunmen opened fired at them while serving search warrants on a house in Polomolok town suspected of keeping illegal weapons.

Five people had been arrested by the police in connection with the shooting and that a man managed to escape from the house. Those arrested have been identified as Hamidin, Benjamin, Binzon and Sandra – all surnamed Alab; and Aulen Olivarez.

Another man, Ben Alab, is being hunted down by police forces after he escaped from the house at the height of the shooting.  The wounded policemen – PO1 Gilbert Alferez, 32; and PO1 Edwardo Quintana, 28, – were rushed to hospital. They are members of the Special Action Force.

Police said it recovered a shot gun and a pistol and ammunition, including a rifle grenade in the house during the search. Those being held by the police were being investigated for possessing illegal weapons. (Mindanao Examiner)

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