2 Muslim preachers killed, 4 wounded in Zamboanga mosque explosion

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ZAMBOANGA CITY (January 30)— Two Muslim preachers were killed while two others wounded when two still unidentified men lobbed  a grenade inside Mahardika Mosque in Logoy Diutya, barangay Talon-Talon at about  12:20 this morning.

The fatalities were identified as  Rex Habil, 46, Sattal Bato, 47,  who died while being treated at  Zamboanga City Medical Center.

The wounded victims were identified as  Yasson Asgali, 46, Paulo Slahuddin, 41, Albani Jikilani, 67,Amidz Kassara, 30,  all residents of Tablig, Lamitan City Basilan.

Senior Supt. Thomas Joseph Martir, director of the Zamboanga City police revealed  most of the victims are  Muslim religious leaders from Basilan and nearby provinces, were sleeping when the explosion occurred.

PNP regional director Chief Superintendent Emmanuel Licup  said Personal grudge could be the motive for the attack, the attackers could also be “riding on the Jolo incident.

Paulo Salahuddin,  a survivor in an interview said 11 people were sleeping inside the mosque when suddenly they heard the explosion.

Salahuddin said they did not see the perpetrators because it was dark inside the mosque.

He revealed, they arrived in Zamboanga two days ago,  and visit places to teach Islam and share the message.

The Zamboaga blast is the  second explosion in southwestern Mindanao in 4 days.

Last Sunday,  two powerful explosions rocked Mount Carmel Cathedral in Jolo, Sulu, leaving 21 people killed and 111 others wounded.

Islamic State militants claimed credit for the Jolo attack. The military said it was not discounting this, but added that Ajang-Ajang, a subgroup of the Abu Sayyaf, was a suspect.

On Tuesday, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the military to go after the Abu Sayyaf group over the bombing, –Editha Z. Caduaya/NewsLine.ph with report from Maebel Perez

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