Grenade lobbed on roof of Cotabato City police station

CEBU CITY  (MindaNews / 30 August) — Unidentified men lobbed a grenade on the roof of Police Station 2 along Sinsuat Avenue in Cotabato City Monday afternoon, the second grenade attack on a police station since Saturday night.   

But no one was hurt in the 3:45 p.m. attack as the grenade failed to explode, Senior Insp. Carlo Jurinario, station 2 chief, said.

Jurinario said police operatives heard a loud thud at the roof of police station 2 located at the corner of Sinsuat Avenue and Ramon Rabago Avenue.  

They found a live hand grenade minus its safety lever.  He did not say why the grenade failed to explode.

On Saturday night, unidentified men also tossed a smoke grenade at the roof of Traffic Management Unit office, just beside police station 1 and at the back of police lock up cell.   

Senior Insp. Roel Zafra said investigation showed the smoke grenade could be part of a plot to “rescue” some of the detainees from the lock-up cell.   

Jurinario said the attack on police offices here could be part of a diversionary tactic of the Maute group in Lanao del Sur or a retaliatory attempt against law enforcers for its intensified anti-drug operation in the city.   

Late afternoon of the same day, heavily armed members of the Maute terror group stormed the Lanao del Sur provincial jail in Marawi City and freed all eight of their companions who were arrested by the Army and police last Monday while some 20 other prisoners escaped, Chief Supt. Agripino Javier regional police director of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) said.

In his report to higher headquarters, Javier said an estimated 50 men equipped with high-powered firearms stormed the jail at around 5:45 p.m. Saturday, leading to the escape of an estimated 28, including the eight alleged members of the Maute group, three of them women.

The provincial jail warden later announced a total of 23 inmates escaped.

Javier said the group also seized two weapons from the jail personnel — an M-16 and an M-14, and one Mitsubishi mobile car.

“We remain on alert, our anti-drug operation will continue,” Jurinario said. (Ferdinandh Cabrera / MindaNews)