Bomb hits Philippines cock-fight

Two fighting cocks spar on the ground in suburban Navotas, north of Manila, Philippines (March 4, 2012) Cock-fighting is a popular pastime among Filipino men (file photo)

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Three people have died and dozens have been wounded after a grenade was thrown into a cock-fighting arena in the southern Philippines.

Police said a man tossed the grenade into the crowded cockpit in the town of Aleosan, in North Catobato province.

The motive for the act appeared to be a personal grudge, officials said.

Cock-fighting is wildly popular in the Philippines, attracting large crowds who bet on the outcome of fights between the birds.

Provincial police chief Conrado Salinas told the Agence France-Press news agency that survivors had recognised the man who threw the grenade as a local.

"We suspect that the man lost [money] in previous cock-fights and he wanted to get even," he added.

The southern Philippines has long been troubled by decades of violence involving various rebel groups.

Saturday's incident is not thought to be related to the bus bombing three days ago in nearby Carmen town, which officials blamed on Muslim insurgents.

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