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Personal grudge seen in 2 Cotabato blasts

COTABATO CITY—Another explosion rocked this city on Saturday night, but authorities said no one was hurt.

Saturday’s blast came four days after a powerful blast from an improvised explosive device rocked the Security Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) gun store along Quezon Avenue here that left a person dead and about 10 others wounded.

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“The two incidents are related. It was more of a personal grudge between the suspects and the gun store owner,” Lawyer Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi, the city administrator, said after Saturday’s blast at the SWAT security agency headquarters along De Mazenod Avenue.

Initial police investigation showed that unidentified men riding in tandem on a motorbike lobbed the explosive at the security agency owned by businessman Jayvee Martinez.

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Martinez also owns the gun store where a motorcycle bomb went off on Tuesday afternoon.

“Clearly, it was more of a personal grudge, I appeal to Mr. Martinez to tell us everything because many are already being implicated,” Sayadi said assuring the public that police and military authorities are always on alert.

Sayadi earlier said that Martinez had a “misunderstanding” with his relatives.

Interviewed over radio, Martinez on Friday said he has no known enemy and he or his business was not the target of Tuesday’s bomb blast.

“I have no enemies, maybe it was just a coincidence that the bomb was left in front of the gun store,” he said.

Chief Supt. Felicisimo Khu, head of the Directorate for Integrated Police Operations in Central, Western and Muslim Mindanao, earlier tagged the terror group Jemaah Islamiya as behind Tuesday’s attack.

Col. Prudencio Asto, spokesperson of the military’s 6th Infantry Division, also blamed the terror group.

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Defending his earlier statements following Saturday’s bomb blast, Khu said: “Of course, the JI or Abu Sayyaf are always inevitable suspects because of their nature, but we do not discount other probable hands behind these bombings in Mindanao.”

On the other hand, Asto said “intelligence reports” from ground commanders pointed the JI as possible culprit.

Asked about the often JI-tag attached to bomb attacks by government forces because of the financial support coming from the US government in line with its global anti-terror drive, Asto branded the suspicion as “incidental but without malice.”

“As trained military investigators, we have so-called probable suspects based from evidences gathered. But, of course, we do not discount others, even the least expected motivation of a terror act,” said Asto.

Khu earlier disclosed in a meeting with managers and representatives of 41 security agencies here that Central Mindanao has been a recipient of P3 million anti-terrorism support assistance from the US which was used in providing police and security agency personnel training, equipment and other vital needs to quell terror plots and bomb attacks.

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TAGS: Bomb attack, Cotabato, Crime, investigation, Justice, Personal grudge, Police, Regions, Violence, War on terror
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