Surigao police placed on alert after mall blast

SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews/21 April) – The city has placed its police force on alert to thwart another possible bombing attempt after an improvised explosive device (IED) went off inside the Gaisano Capital-Surigao mall on Sunday afternoon.

Police Supt. Ruben B. Delos Santos, city police director, told MindaNews on Monday he ordered his personnel secure soft targets against lawless elements.

“We are doing rounds at seaports and Surigao airport including some areas together with K9-unit and military personnel,” he said.

No one was hurt in Sunday’s blast as the IED was reportedly not designed to inflict harm among shop goers.

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.

Delos Santos said the bomb could have been more powerful had substance been added to it.

“The one who put it has knowledge on bomb making, so we should not tolerate this to happen again and I asked the public to cooperate with us to arrest these individuals that want to sow fear or terror in our people,” he said.

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

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)