IED explodes in Surigao mall

SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews/20 April) — An improvised explosive device (IED) went off inside the Gaisano Capital-Surigao mall on Sunday afternoon, police said.

No one was hurt during the blast as the IED was reportedly not designed to inflict harm among shop goers.

Police Supt. Ruben B. Delos Santos, chief of Surigao City Police Office told MindaNews on Monday that the explosive was put inside a plastic bag and placed on top of the trash can at the 2nd level near Vintage Optical shop.

Delos Santos said the IED exploded at 4:43 pm, two minutes after it was left by the carrier who was believed to be in his 20s and was yet to be identified.

Initial investigation conducted by police revealed that a cellular phone was used as the triggering device.

Jemmarie G. Pasco, 19, housekeeping staff of Gaisano Capital-Surigao said she saw what she thought was mere garbage concealed by a plastic cup and tissue paper and placed on top of the trash bin.

Pasco said she thought the “garbage” was just improperly disposed. She paced it inside the trash bin but after about a minute it exploded.

Delos Santos said the EID was not designed to inflict harm among mall-goers. “The sound of the blast was just like a piccolo (a firecracker).”

He said that the based on the mall’s closed-circuit television footage a male suspect carried the IED.

The police official said they could not yet establish the motive of the incident but added that extortion could be the reason behind it.

PO2 Rex L. Plaza said all suspected bomb components that were found in the area were sent to a crime laboratory for further examination.

Last February 4, an EID exploded inside a passenger bus owned by Bachelor Express that stopped for lunch in Barangay Hayanggabon, Claver town in Surigao del Norte. Two persons were hurt. (Roel N. Catoto/MindaNews)