3 hurt in Cotabato blast

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COTABATO CITY, Philippines–Three persons were wounded in a grenade explosion inside one of the rooms of the Notre Dame Hospital here Sunday night, the police said.

Senior Supt. Danny Reyes, city police chief, said police arrested suspect Esmael Usop, who had called a nurse to immediately attend to Room 227 patient Badrudin Saludsong, who he said was having difficulty breathing.

“When the attending nurse was nearing the room, Esmael Usop cried out there was a grenade at the door. As they scampered for safety, a loud explosion occurred, leaving behind three casualties,” Reyes said.

The police official said hospital guard Emelio Tayrus and watchers Nobaisa Pangalian and her sister Baisa sustained shrapnel wounds, but were later declared “out of danger.”

Reyes said Saludsong was recently wounded in a shootout with lawmen.

Saludsong has pending arrest warrants in connection with the killing of a political figure in Barira, Maguindanao, and another involving a local election official.

Police, however, still could not establish the connection between Saludsong and Usop.

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