A series of grenade explosions near a polling station in the southern Philippines injured nine people hours before voting for the local and national elections began, police said on May 9.
Police Major Roldan Kuntong said that the simultaneous blasts occurred in the towns of Datu Unsay and Sharif Aguak in the Maguindanao province in Mindanao.
At about 7:05 p.m. local time, four explosions went off in the vicinity of the Datu Unsay municipal hall, injuring nine people, police said.
Police said that the victims had walked from their far-flung villages to cast their votes at the municipal hall when polling stations opened on May 9 across the country.
Minors were among those injured in the blasts, according to the police.
Maguindanao Police Provincial Director Colonel Jibin Bongcayao added that teachers, who were awaiting the release of vote-counting machines, were also among those injured, Philippine Daily Inquirer reported.
The victims were brought to the Maguindanao Provincial Hospital for medical treatment.
Minutes later, another grenade exploded in the neighboring municipality of Shariff Aguak, but there were no casualties.
Police in Datu Unsay condemned the shelling and vowed to “thoroughly” investigate and hold the perpetrator accountable in accordance with the law.
No one has claimed responsibility for the blast, police said.
A spokesperson for the Commission on Elections said that they are working to verify if the explosions were related to the elections, AFP News reported.
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