Friday, April 16, 2010

2 Philippine Candidates Killed in Election Violence

Election violence erupted again in the Philippines on Thursday as a grenade attack killed two people and injured a dozen during a meeting of local candidates.

Police officials said an unidentified man lobbed a grenade into the meeting in Datu Odin Sinsuat, a town in Maguindanao, the southern province where 57 people were massacred in November in the worst election-related violence in the country’s history.

Violence caused by political bosses — fueled by a proliferation of illegal weapons — has repeatedly plagued elections in the Philippines. And before the attack on Thursday, according to police statistics, 33 people had been killed this year in attacks linked to the upcoming elections. More than 2,000 have been arrested for violations of a gun ban.

In the attack on Thursday, the apparent targets were Montasir Sabal, who is running for mayor of Talitay, and his brother, Abdulwahad, a candidate for deputy mayor. Both are in the Liberal Party, which is headed by Benigno S. Aquino III, who earlier expressed concerns about possible violence against his supporters.

“The two brothers are lucky because people were around them,” a witness told The Mindanao Examiner, a local newspaper. “They were talking to their supporters when the attack occurred.”

The attack on the Sabal brothers was just the latest in a week of violence.

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Please be careful when you go there soon, please avoid public places and crowds. ILYSM!

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