ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/11 October) – Two people were injured while the main target escape unscathed in a grenade attack on Wednesday near a food chain outlet in this city, police said.
Injured were Ronaldo Dagalea, 32, a cigarette vendor, and Rodid Bejerano, 25, a jeep conductor, who were hit by shrapnel in the incident that took place around 5 p.m. at the intersection of Canelar and Governor Camins Avenue, police said.
Hadja Ferdausa Karim, the owner of the Blue Shark Hotel who is believed to be the main target of the attack escaped unhurt.
Hadja Farida Radja, who was with Karim, also escaped unharmed.
Police said Karim was driving her Nissan Navara pickup vehicle with Radja on the passenger seat when two men riding tandem on a motorcycle lobbed two grenades into Karim’s vehicle.
The explosion damaged the rear portion of the vehicle although only one of the two grenades exploded, the police added.
Dagalea and Rodid suffered shrapnel injuries as they happened to be near Karim’s vehicle.
Dagalea was selling cigarettes to motorists while Rodid was aboard a passenger jeep plying the Zamboanga City Public Market-Canelar-Airport route.
The suspects were cornered by policemen manning the traffic at the junction of Governor Camins and Agan Avenues, which is some 200 meters away from the explosion site, reports said.
Police identified the suspects as Gary Candido, 20, and Albert Perez, 22, who are believed to be guns-for-hire.
Nine other suspects, including a barangay councilman, were arrested in a follow-up operation.
Police identified them as Aldasser Muallam, Sherman Jailani, Muamar Muallam, Vincent Carrasco, Jul-Amin Abdula, Jinul Uddin, Mohammad Alkhalidz Amisali, Lindin Uddin and Kent Ramos.
Aldasser Muallam is a barangay councilman Kalingalan Caluang town in Sulu.
Investigators are eyeing business rivalry as a possible motive of the incident. (MindaNews)