Friday, April 09, 2010

3 people wounded in Zamboanga blast

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / April 9, 2010) – Three people were injured in a grenade attack in Zamboanga Sibugay province in the southern Philippines, officials said Friday.

Officials said the grenade exploded late Thursday outside the house of a police officer in Kabasalan town, several kilometers from Titay where two improvised bombs were detonated earlier near the house of George Castillo, a mayoralty candidate of the ruling coalition; and at a village hall in nearby Titay town.

The grenade attack occurred 30 minutes after two improvised explosives went off, although there were no reports of casualties in the bombings.

It was unknown if the three attacks were connected.

“The attacks are being investigated by the police,” said Army First Lieutenant Steffani Cacho, a regional military spokeswoman.

On Monday, a grenade attack wounded one person outside a radio station in Titay town owned by Zamboanga Sibugay governor George Hofer, an ally of Castillo. The facility is just several meters away from Hofer’s house.

Hofer, who is on his third and last term, is running for mayor in the town of Ipil, while his daughter, Dulce Ann Hofer, the congresswoman of Zamboanga Sibugay, is running for governor in the province. His son Jet Hofer is also running for a congressional seat.

No group or individual claimed responsibility for the spate of attacks.

A local newspaper, Sibugay Express, quoted the radio station manager Kim Porras as saying the attack could be retaliation for the political commentaries of freelance broadcasters. Porras, himself, is also receiving subtle threats though text messages warning him to take it slowly, it said.

The explosion occurred minutes after Porras’ radio program ended, but it was unknown whether he was the target of the attack or the Hofers, who held a grip in the province’s political power for many years now. (Mindanao Examiner)

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