29 of 70 unexploded bombs in Marawi’s Ground Zero detonated; 30th on Wednesday

ILIGAN CITY (MindaNews / 15 October) – A total of 29 of 70 general purpose bombs that were dropped but did not explode in Marawi’s Ground Zero during the five-month war in 2017 between government forces and the Islamic State-inspired Maute Group have been detonated, with the 30th—a 260-pounder bomb—on Wednesday, October 16.

Detonation of unexploded ordnance in Marawi City’s Ground Zero last August. MindaNews file photo by RICHEL V. UMEL

Lt. Col. Elmer Oamil, deputy commander of Task Group Builders and commander of the 553rd Engineer Battalion of the Philippine Army, told MindaNews that as of Monday, out of 70 general purpose (GP) bombs, “29 have been detonated and one 260-pound UXO will be detonated on October 16, 2019 at around 10:00 o’clock in the morning at Sector 8 of Barangay Marinaut near a mosque [located] around 10 meters beneath the ground.”

Also on Wednesday, 62 assorted surface bombs will be included in the detonation of the 260-pounder bomb, he said.

By October 16, Oamil said a total of 30 general purpose bombs and 5,392 surface bombs shall have been detonated.

“There are 40 more GP bombs pinpointed by EDDMARI Trading and Construction apparatus,” Oamil said. EDDMARI won the contract for UXO and debris clearing in Ground Zero.

Oamil added that if the GP bomb is more than 15 meters beneath the ground, “it will no longer be detonated for it is considered safe enough.” (Richel V. Umel / MindaNews)