COTABATO CITY (MindaNews / 29 Nov) – Still unidentified suspects lobbed a grenade at soldiers of the Special Forces Battalion as they were buying dinner here on Thursday, but fortunately the grenade failed to explode.
Lt. Col. Randy Banaag, commanding officer of the 5th Special Forces Battalion stationed in Cotabato City, said that while a squad of his troops parked along Sinsuat Avenue around 7 p.m. after securing a school intramurals, a disturbing sound landed at the roof of the camouflaged vehicle just as a speeding motorcycle whizzed by.
“We thought they threw a stone that landed on the roof of the jeep. When checked later, we found out it was a hand grenade,” Banaag said in a phone interview.
“Luckily our men are safe, it didn’t go off even as the safety lever was removed and is armed and ready to explode anytime,” he added.
Banaag said it was too late to run after the suspects as they disappeared immediately while joining other motorists in a heavily congested highway.
Army Explosive Ordnance Team responded soon to the area, diffused the grenade and kept safe the dud grenade.
The Special Forces Battalion is now working with police investigators to identify the perpetrators through the CCTVs installed all over the business establishments along Sinsuat Avenue.
Banaag has reminded his troops to be extra vigilant to this type of treacherous attacks.
Authorities are not discounting the possibility of diversionary and revenge attacks as intensified offensive is ongoing at the Liguasan Marsh area to quash the remaining ISIS-inspired armed groups.
A few days ago, Maguindanao police confirmed the death of the brother and son of the founder of ISIS-linked Dawlah Islamiyah head Abu Toraife. (Ferdinandh Cabrera / MindaNews)