5 seniors hurt in Zambo church attack

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Sunday, February 2, 2014

ZAMBOANGA CITY (Updated)-- Five senior citizens were injured in a grenade explosion Sunday at an old church in the village of Talon-Talon, five kilometers east of this city.

Pilar Santos, the president of the senior citizen association, said they were having a meeting when suddenly, they heard a loud explosion around 9:50 a.m.

Santos said they regularly meet at the church every first Sunday of the month to discuss matters concerning the senior citizens in the village.

Police Station 6 commander Chief Inspector Felixberto Martinez said investigation showed that two unidentified men riding tandem in a motorcycle passed in front of the church and tossed a grenade.

The grenade exploded in front of the church after it hit the iron grill of the entrance door.

Zambo church explosion
(Courtesy: Google Maps)

On Saturday, a homemade bomb exploded near an area where government troops have been battling members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) who broke away from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) after it signed a peace deal with the government

The attack wounded 12 people, including six soldiers and two television journalists. [Read the related story.]

The BIFF rebels belonging to the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Movement are fighting to establish an independent state and broke away from the MILF, which has agreed to a deal granting them greater autonomy in the southern Philippines.

The talks to end four decades of Muslim rebellion in the predominantly Roman Catholic nation's south were concluded last week in Malaysia.

The Philippine government is also battling other rebel groups, including the smaller but more brutal Abu Sayyaf, which is notorious for bombings, ransom kidnappings and beheadings. (With reports from AP/Sunnex)

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