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Officials: Parang town blast targeted wife's lover

John Unson (The Philippine Star) - December 20, 2014 - 1:50pm

MAGUINDANAO, Philippines — Officials confirmed on Saturday the grenade attack that hurt seven people in Parang town Friday night likely stemmed from a "marital quarrel."

Policemen started searching for bombing suspect Sautoh Gitih, an ethnic Maguindanaon, who fled from Parang, a seaside town in northwest of Maguindanao, after allegedly blowing up a fragmentation grenade at a group of people spending time at the town market.

"He was suspecting that one of those injured in the grenade explosion has an illicit relation with his wife," said Adnan Biruar, president of municipal Association of Barangay Chairmen in Parang.

Neighbors of the couple confirmed hearing them quarrel about the issue hours before the incident near the municipal hall.

Biruar, chairman of Barangay Tagudtungan in Parang, and Mayor Ibrahim Ibay, chairman of the municipal peace and order council, both said policemen are now trying to locate the whereabouts of Gitih.

Ibay said the explosion was preceded by automatic bursts of gunfire.

"We still don't know if the gunfire was a diversionary ploy," Ibay said.

Ibay identified the seven blast victims as Jamila Tomas, Abdullah Tomas, Salahudin Tomas, Saima Raoro, Camlon Rairo, Sirikit Magayan and a certain Lucman, who were rushed to hospital by municipal rescue workers.

Ibay and Biruar declined to identify who among the injured men was the suspected lover of Gitih's wife.

"Let us give time to investigators to validate that angle of the incident. We're pretty sure it's the likely angle because the suspected bomber had disappeared after the grenade attack," said Biruar, who, as ABC president of Parang, is also an ex-officio member of the Maguindanao provincial board.

ABDULLAH TOMAS ADNAN BIRUAR ASSOCIATION OF BARANGAY CHAIRMEN BARANGAY TAGUDTUNGAN BIRUAR CAMLON RAIRO GITIH IBAY IBAY AND BIRUAR JAMILA TOMAS
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