Philippines: Davao Explosion Caused by IED detonated via cellphone

  (philstar.com) |

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Police investigators check bodies at a blast site at a night market that has left at least several people dead and wounded others in Davao City, Philippines late Friday Sept. 2, 2016. AP/Manman Dejeto
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MANILA, Philippines — Davao City police director Senior Superintendent Michael Dubria said Sunday evening that the improvised explosive device (IED) used in the night market blast was cellphone-activated.
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Some of the recovered fragments are already in the custody of the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) Regional Crime Laboratory Office in Davao, Dubria said in a press briefing. One fragment, the upper portion of the IED’s fuze assembly, was taken from a victim’s liver.
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Once they complete collection, Dubria said they would be able to reconstruct the IED used. But so far the fragments recovered point that they are part of a 60mm mortar round.
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The danger of a 60mm mortar round, Dubria explained, is that its body fragments upon explosion, turning into shrapnel that can lead to serious injuries to victims.
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PNP chief Director General Ronald Dela Rosa Saturday said the explosive is similar to the IED used by Abdul Manap Mentang, the suspect in the 2005 Valentine’s Day bombing of the Davao City Ecoland Terminal. He said it is possible that Mentang, who remains at-large, was involved in the explosion at Davao City’s busy night market.
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8 witnesses, CCTV camera footage
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According to police, they believe the IED was carried inside a bag by a man who availed of massage service at the night market. Two females were seen tagging along behind him. Dubria said they believe the IED exploded after the man left in a hurry.
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But he clarified that the three are just persons of interest who witnesses said were acting suspiciously. They are not yet considered suspects.
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“We are not limiting our persons of interest to three or four, they may be many more,” Dubria said.
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He added that there are eight witnesses while footage from eight CCTV cameras are under review.
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At least 14 got killed while more than 70 got injured when an IED exploded around 10:20 p.m. Friday at the night market along Roxas City, a known tourist destination.
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