Two killed as grenade thrown inside mosque in Zamboanga City
Two people were killed while four were wounded in a grenade explosion in a mosque in Zamboanga City on Wednesday.
Col. Gerry Besana, Armed Forces of the Philippine (AFP) Western Mindanao Command spokesman, said a grenade was thrown by an unidentified perpetrator inside the Kamahaldikaan Mosque in Sitio Logoy Diutay, Barangay Talon-Talon around 12:20 am.
The victims who were declared dead upon arrival at the Zamboanga City Medical Center were identified as Haj Sattal Bato and Rex Habil. The wounded were identified as Palson Asgali, Alnizcar Sabbaha, Jikilani Albani and Amidz Kassara.
Besana said the joint military and police personnel immediately cordoned the blast site.
“Accordingly, the victims are members of Tabligh from Basilan, who have been in the said mosque since Monday (January 28),” he said.
Besana said Col. Leonel Nicolas, Joint Task Force Zamboanga commander, said the blast is not a retaliatory act.
“The incident is under investigation. We are assisting the wounded at the Zamboanga City Medical Center,” Nicolas said.
In a statement, Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesman urged the public not to be “swayed” by the recent bombing incidents in Mindanao.
“Let us not be swayed by the recent developments that seem to project a religious complexion in the recent tragic incidents: in Jolo on Sunday 27 January and on 30 January 2019 around 20 minutes past midnight,” he said.
Arevalo said the military is asking for the cooperation of the public to prevent similar incident.
“Let us remain vigilant and pro-active. We exhort our citizens: for your help and cooperation with your government security forces in addressing these evolving challenges,” he said.
“We ask for your active involvement by reporting your observations about unusual developments in your area, presence of unfamiliar persons, unattended packages, and the like,” he noted.
Arevalo said AFP chief General Benjamin Madrigal Jr ''assures that the best AFP commanders are on the ground and that, in cooperation with the PNP and other agencies of government, are firmly committed to neutralizing these threats. '' Robina Asido/DMS