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Grenades hit festival crowd in Philippines, 1 killed, 32 wounded
Updated: 2009-06-21 14:02

MANILA:Two grenades exploded in a public market of a southern Philippine town Saturday night as local residents were having a party, killing one civilian while wounding 32 others, a local army spokesman said Sunday.

In a press release, Lt Colonel Kurt Decapia of the Davao-based 10th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army said the first grenade exploded around 8:15 p.m. (1215 GMT) and the second blast two minutes later in front of separate stores near the Maasim town hall of Sarangani province.

Decapia said witnesses saw unidentified armed men threw the grenades when the town was celebrating the province's 37th Founding Anniversary and the second Kestebeng Festival.

The spokesman identified the fatality as a 26-year-old Gardo Rellon who was killed on the spot. All 32 injured civilians, including a five-year-old, were sent to a local hospital for treatment.

Security forces are yet to determine the group's involvement behind the attack in the area where there are active Muslim separatist rebels fighting for independent Islamic state.

Maj General Reynaldo Mapagu, a local army commander, said the attack is a "clear manifestation of the terrorist aim of sowing fear and panic by means of bloodshed and destruction."

The authorities have ordered set-up of checkpoints in Maasim to nab the suspects.

An early report quoting local police sources said three people were killed.