A HOMEMADE bomb similar to what was used in the Davao City bombing in September was found near the US Embassy in Manila on Monday, prompting the National Police chief, Director General Ronald M. dela Rosa, to initially declare that the failed bombing could have been the handiwork of Mindanao-based terrorists.
The bomb, fashioned out of an 81mm mortar shell with a cellular telephone as the triggering device, was found inside a trash can about 25 meters away from the embassy building on Roxas Boulevard in Manila.
It was later detonated safely by ordnance experts.
Dela Rosa said the bomb, with a detonating cord, was almost similar to what the Maute Group, a foreign-allied local terrorist gang based in Lanao del Sur, used in the bombing of the night market in Davao City in September, which killed 14 people and injured at least 70 others.
The group was tagged behind the bombing following the arrest later in Cotabato City in joint police and military operations of its members who actually carried out the bombing, which prompted President Duterte to place the country under a state of emergency.
The Maute Group, headed by the Maute siblings, is currently the subject of an ongoing operation in Butig, Lanao del Sur, by the military following the group’s occupation of the town and its old municipal building wherein it also raised the flag of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
The military said it has already killed at least 20 members of the group in the ongoing operations.
Dela Rosa said that, with the recovery of the Maute Group’s signature bomb, it is not far-fetched that the failed bombing could have been carried out by the Lanao del Sur-based terrorist group, which has pledged its allegiance to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant as early as last year.
Dela Rosa based his statement on the initial comparison made by the National Police Bomb Data Center on the bomb that was recovered near the US Embassy and the one used in Davao City bombing.
The bomb was found by a street sweeper inside a trash can on the southbound lane of Roxas Boulevard and reported it to a guard of the US Embassy who called the Manila Police District.
Authorities temporarily closed the southbound lane of the highway as they worked on the bomb.