Google map of Datu Piang municipality, Maguindanao.

COTABATO CITY – Suspected election saboteurs fired an M79 grenade projectile at a voting center in Datu Piang, Maguindanao, leaving six voters injured, police said Monday.

Maj. Roldan Kundong, the Maguindanao police spokesperson, said the shoulder-fired projectile landed beside the covered court inside Datu Piang Elementary School in Barangay Buayan at 11:15 a.m. amid the queue of voters.

 “They were inside the school’s covered court waiting for their names to be called to vote when the explosion occurred,” Kundong said.

Injured were Lebe Calunting, Satar Andoy, Aladin Kusain, Nasser Guiali, Anib Kanakan, and Ukal Guiali. They were all rushed to a local hospital.

The M79 rifle grenade was fired from outside the compound.  No one claimed responsibility for the incident.

Despite the explosion, voting in Datu Piang Elementary School continued, Kundong said.

The Datu Piang explosion came a day after a series of explosions also shook Datu Unsay and Shariff Aguak towns in Maguindanao left nine persons injured.

Meanwhile, in an interview with reporters on election-related violence in parts of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, vice presidential candidate and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte said such incidents have been anticipated to happen.

Duterte noted that Maguindanao and other Mindanao provinces have powerful political families vying for local control.

“I hope that Comelec will take charge of the situation and seek out the help of the police and military in ensuring that voters will not be disenfranchised in that area,” she said.

BARMM covers the provinces of Maguindanao, Sulu, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, and Tawi-Tawi; the cities of Cotabato, Marawi, and Lamitan; and the 63 villages in six towns of North Cotabato. (PNA)