MANILA, Philippines – (UPDATED) Two people were killed while 24 others were injured when a hand grenade exploded along Roxas Avenue in Iligan City last Saturday night.
Initial reports indicated that three people died in the blast, but authorities have since clarified that there were two casualties.
Capt. Albert Caber, spokesman of the 1st Infantry Division, identified the fatalities as Jonel Dumalang and Djay Jangad.
Meanwhile, Col. Daniel Lucero, commander of the Army’s 103rd Brigade, has ruled out terrorism as an angle in the blast.
“Many are speculating that it’s terrorism, but it’s not... So far, based on the (bomb) signature, it’s petty crime,” Lucero said. “That’s our assessment, that’s the maximum. That is what we are looking into.”
Authorities are also considering “rido” or a family feud as an angle in the grenade blast.
The M67 grenade was lobbed in front of a Western Union money transfer branch and El Centro KTV bar along Roxas Avenue around 7:45 p.m., hitting the victims that were mostly bystanders.
Officials initially reported that the blast was caused by an improvised explosive device, fueling talks that it was terrorism-related. A safety lever was later found at the scene which prompted authorities to conclude that the explosion was caused by a grenade.
“Recovered in the crime scene was part of a safety lever of undetermined kind of grenade. As of this time, no witness has come out yet on the circumstances and identities of the perpetrators,” said 1st Infantry Division commander Brig. Gen. Rainier Cruz.
Meanwhile, Congressman Vicente Belmonte has offered a P200,000 reward in exchange for information on the suspect, but no witness has come forward yet. -- With a report from Roxanne Arevalo, ABS-CBN News Iligan City