Three people have died and dozens were wounded when a grenade was thrown into a crowded cock-fighting arena in the town of Aleosan in the southern Philippines on April 14, 2012. There were fears that it was tied to the bus bombing three days before at the nearby town of Carmen, Mindanao, in which two were killed and five seriously injured and which officials blame on Muslim insurgents. But, according to BBC News, the two incidents are now believed to be unrelated.
Cockfightiing is extremely popular in the Philippines, attracting large crowds including many tourists, that gamble on the outcome of fights in which game fowl with sharp knives attached to their feet engage in bloody bouts ending in death or serious injury, usually to both birds. Cockfighting in the Philippines is called Sabong. There are illegal and legal cockfights. Legal cockfights are held in cockpits every week.
Police said local survivors recognized the man who tossed the grenade into the crowded cockpit in North Catobato province. The motive appears to be a personal grudge and retaliation, Provincial police chief Conrado Salinas told the Agence France-Press. "We suspect that the man lost [money] in previous cock-fights and wanted to get even.”
Muslim groups have been fighting for independence in the area for more than 30 years, BBC News reports. Regional military commander Col Leopoldo Galon told the Associated Press that extortion gangs linked to Muslim rebels have been responsible for similar attacks in the past, but it appears that the cockfight arena bombing was an isolated deadly incident.
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