In Photo- Hajji Sattar M. Bato (standing), one of the fatalities in the grenade blast early morning today inside a mosque in Zamboanga City (Courtesy of Datu Fadh Jadjalis)

Grenade lobbed inside Zamboanga City Mosque, kills 2 Islamic Preachers

ZAMBOANGA CITY – A fragmentation grenade was lobbed inside a mosque in Sitio Logoy Jutay, Barangay Talon Talon, this city early morning today, killing Hajji Sattar Bato, 47 Years Old, and Rex Bahil, 46 Years Old, both members of Jam’ah Tablegh from Basilan. Four (4) others were wounded in the explosion. They were brought to Zamboanga City where they are undergoing treatment.

The victims, most of whom are Islamic Preachers from nearby island of Basilan were sleeping when the grenade was thrown inside the mosque.

Col. Leonel Nicolas, commander of Joint Task Force Zamboanga, said 2 of the victims who were earlier reported to be in critical condition have died from severe injuries, said a report by ABS-CBN News.

Senior Supt. Thomas Joseph Martir, director of the Zamboanga City Police Office, said the perpetrators immediately fled on foot. Police are asking residents to help identify them. Metal and lever fragments were recovered from the crime scene, the ABS-CBN News also said.

In an interview with ABS-CBN News, one of the victims said they visited Zamboanga City to teach Islam to the kids. There were 11 of them who were sleeping inside the mosque.

As of press time, police authorities have not yet established the motive for the Zamboanga City grenade attack but conducting further investigation

The attack inside the mosque came at a time, were at least 27 people and 100 others wounded in twin explosions in Jolo, Sulu on January 28. Two of the three persons of interest has surrendered to authorities to clear their names.