Absalon cousins killed in Masbate blast also shot — AFP

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FILE PHOTO

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 10) — Football athlete Kieth Absalon and his cousin Nolven, who died in a blast in Masbate City on June 6, were also shot, the Armed Forces of the Philippines said Thursday.

Authorities earlier said the two died after an improvised explosive device went off while they were cycling in Barangay Anas. The Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed wing New People's Army took "full responsibility" for the deaths of the Absalon cousins and expressed willingness to extend any appropriate form of indemnification.

"Ang lumalabas po dito ay pinasabugan nila ito at pinaputukan pa nila," AFP spokesman Edgard Arevalo said in a briefing, referring to members of the NPA.

[Translation: Investigation showed they caused the explosion and also fired at the Absalon cousins.]

Arevalo said they are still determining which happened first - the blast or the shooting.

The government earlier called on the communist rebels to surrender those responsible for the deaths of Keith and Nolven, but the CPP-NPA said the perpetrators are under their authority.

"They can be meted disciplinary action or punishment corresponding to their individual responsibilities and conduct during the incident," the rebels added in a statement.