BLAST SITE. A police officer points to a spot where a 40mm projectile landed and exploded on the municipal grounds of Datu Unsay, Maguindanao Sunday night (May 8, 2022). Two other projectiles were fired in the same spot and two more in nearby Shariff Aguak town minutes later. (Photo courtesy of Maguindanao PPO)

DATU UNSAY, Maguindanao – Additional security forces were deployed here and to adjacent Shariff Aguak town after a series of blasts rocked the two areas Sunday evening.

At least nine persons were hurt in a series of grenade attacks at the municipal grounds here around 7 pm.

“Three blasts hit Datu Unsay and a few minutes later in nearby Shariff Aguak town which is about 500 meters away,” Col. Jibin Bongcayao, Maguindanao police director, said in an interview Monday.

Nobody was injured in the Shariff Aguak blast, Bongcayao said.

Bongcayao said the blast victims in this town, who all sustained injuries on their feet and legs, are now undergoing treatment at the Maguindanao provincial hospital in nearby Datu Hofer town.

The grenade explosions, believed to be from M-79 launchers fired from a nearby area, occurred while the neighboring towns of Datu Unsay, Shariff Aguak, and Datu Hofer were experiencing power interruption.

Gunmen onboard a vehicle were seen speeding away shortly before the twin blasts along the national highway in Barangay Poblacion, Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao, police said.

No one has claimed responsibility but police believed only one group was behind the bombing in both towns.

Datu Unsay is one of the election hotspots identified by police in Maguindanao for Monday’s election. Nine others in the province are also categorized as hot spot areas. (PNA)