MANILA, Philippines (3rd UPDATE) – Three people were killed while 33 others were wounded in an explosion during a cockfighting event in the town of Aleosan, North Cotabato Saturday afternoon, police said.
Two of the victims were identified as Fermin Calaguin and Vicente Sabando.
Based from a report from the Army's 40th Infantry Battalion, a grenade exploded during a cockfighting event in Sitio Lapu-Lapu, Brgy. Lawili at around 2 p.m.
One of the victims died on the spot while 2 others were rushed to the hospital and were declared dead on arrival.
Aleosan town Mayor Loreto Cabaya said most of the victims belonged to the Christian community.
The official said there have been incidents in the past that brought conflict between the Christians and Muslims in the area which they don't want to happen again.
Cabaya has instructed the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines to investigate.
Meanwhile, the local government unit (LGU) called a municipal peace and order council meeting to address the situation.
The LGU said it has extended assistance to the families of the victims. -- Reports from Rod Izon, dzMM; Lerio Bompat, ABS-CBN News Central Mindanao