Philippine police safely detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) found in a trash can meters away from the U.S. Embassy in Manila Monday.
Police said the bomb was similar to the device that killed at least 14 people when it exploded at a teaming night market in the southern city of Davao on Sept. 2, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reports.
National Capital Region Police Office chief Superintendent Oscar Albayalde told the Inquirer that the 81-millimeter mortar inside the package “was the same found in Davao.” If it had exploded, he added, it could have affected everything within a 100-meter radius.
The device was discovered by a street sweeper early morning local time who contacted local authorities.
Nobody immediately claimed responsibility for the attempted bombing.
“We are thankful that the municipal employee and the PNP took quick and appropriate action to ensure the safety of all,” said U.S. Embassy Press Attache Molly Koscina in a statement on Monday.
After the September bomb attack on Davao City, President Rodrigo Duterte placed the Philippines under an indefinite “state of national emergency,” which gave the police and armed forces special powers to “suppress any and all forms of lawless violence.”
Philippine National Police Chief Ronald dela Rosa told reporters in a press briefing that he would consider reinstating checkpoints in Manila as a security precaution. “We will ask mall authorities to also heighten security. We may revive checkpoints,” he said.
Dela Rosa said that militants from the Maute group, whose members were allegedly behind the Davao bombing, likely planted the device Manila. On Sunday, about 19 members from Maute group died during a Philippine army offensive in the southern province of Lanao del Sur, Agence France-Presse reports.
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