Lamitan inn destroyed by bomb blast

LAMITAN CITY, Basilan (Mindanews/10 April) – An improvised bomb exploded and totally destroyed a two-storey lodging house in this city while two other bombing attempts were foiled with the recovery of the explosives containing Ammonium Nitrate Fuel Oil (ANFO) as primer and Trinitroluene (TNT) as the bomb’s main charge.

Basilan police director Senior Supt. Alex Linesis said the explosion took place around 7:10 p.m. Saturday at the ground floor of Spasky’s Lodging House owned by businessman Jose Tejada along Flores Street in barangay Maligaya, this city.  Made of semi-concrete materials, the building collapsed due to the impact of the explosion.

No one was killed or wounded. Residents near the Spasky’s Lodging House said customers usually check-in starting 9 p.m.

Explosive Ordnance Demolition (EOD) personnel of the Philippine Army who were sifting through the debris Sunday morning said the bomb was a  “very strong” one though they have yet to determine what type of explosive components were used.

Linesis said investigation showed that prior to the incident, two men checked in at room number 200 on the ground floor of Spasky’s Lodging House at around 6:30 p.m.
They were seen bringing with them a green plastic bag with unknown content, Linesis said.

He said the two left the lodging house after they paid the room rental.

“After several minutes the explosion occurred,” he added.

The two were described to be around 18 to 21 years old,  both of them standing about five-feet and four inches, Linesis said.

Meanwhile, troops from the Army’s 15th Special Forces Company recovered an improvised bomb at around 9:30 p.m. Saturday along J.S. Alano Street in downtown Isabela City, the capital of this province.

Lt. Col. Randolph Cabangbang, spokesperson of the Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom), said the bomb was found in front of an ice plant around 10 meters from a gasoline station and a hotel.

Cabangbang said the mobile phone-triggered improvised bomb was placed in a shoulder bag and left in front of the ice plant.

The troops immediately secured the area and “detonated the improvised bomb in place,” Cabangbang said.

At around 10:20 a.m. Sunday, Linesis said troops from the Army’s 32nd Infantry Battalion recovered another improvised bomb near a checkpoint of the same battalion along Quezon Boulevard, Barangay Malakas, this city.

The bomb with two units of cellular phones connected to it, was placed in a plastic container and left in front of Lamitan Central School.

The bomb was defused by the Army EOD personnel.

1Lt. Gian Carlo Galanza, executive officer of the Army’s 32nd Infantry Battalion, said the bomb components are ANFO, which serves as the bomb’s primer, whith the TNT as the main charge.

Chief Insp. Edwin Placio, Lamitan City police chief, said the bomb recovered Sunday in this city was the same type of bomb that was recovered in Isabela City.

Placio said they received bomb threats before the explosion that completely destroyed the lodging house Saturday night. (MindaNews)