Four cops and three village watchmen were wounded when two motorcycle-riding men lobbed a grenade at patrolling police and volunteers at Salaam Mosque Compound in Barangay Culiat at about 12:42 a.m. yesterday.
The Quezon City Police District (QCPD) identified the victims as PO3 Jaalin Abdurajik, PO2 Abdulwarid Julaid, SPO1 Romeo Amming, and retired SP04 Sala Uddin, all members of Police Security Protection Group (PSPG) of the Philippine National Police headquarters in Camp Crame.
Also wounded were Khadafi Udhan, Alex Taluyan and Junrey Tioc, volunteer security officers at Salaam Mosque Compound.
Senior Supt. Guillermo Eleazar, QCPD director, said the victims, all residents of the Muslim compound, have offered their services to suppress the drug trade prevalent in the area.
The QCPD chief said they were guarding the compound entrance on Libyan Street when two men onboard a motorcycle stopped some 10 meters away in front of them.
The backrider alighted and suddenly threw a hand grenade, wounding the victims in the explosion.
Abdurajik and Julaid are now in stable condition at the PNP General Hospital, while Amming and Udhan were discharged.
Uddin and Taluyan were also sent home after undergoing treatment at General Malvar Hospital in Old Balara.
Tioc, meanwhile, underwent surgery and is still confined at East Avenue Medical Center, according to police.
Probers recovered from the blast site 26 metal fragments, the lever, and the pin of a still unknown type of hand grenade.
Eleazar said probe on the attack is underway. They have yet to retrieve closed-circuit television footages from nearby areas.
The top Quezon City police official said the attack may have been an act of revenge from drug syndicates.
The then-impenetrable compound has been a subject of a series of raids against drug lords and drug den operators.
A total of 217 drug pushers and users were caught in raids last August 31 and September 16, including an alleged member of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG).
“We can say that affected personalities or groups were responsible for the incident, whether drug-related, or the arrest of the alleged ASG member,” Eleazar said in a press conference.
Despite the apparent threat, he said, police will not be deterred and operations against illegal drugs in the compound will continue.
He commended the volunteers for helping in their campaign and maintaining order in the compound.
(VANNE ELAINE P. TERRAZOLA)