- Title: Philippine police find home-made bomb near U.S. embassy, rebels suspected
- Date: 28th November 2016
- Summary: MANILA, PHILIPPINES (NOVEMBER 28, 2016) (REUTERS) ****WARNING CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE CHIEF RONALD DELA ROSA ENTERING NEWS BRIEFING ROOM NEWS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS POLICE PRESENTING PART OF IMPROVISED EXPLOSIVE DEVICE DETONATOR PHOTOGRAPHER TAKING A PICTURE OF MORTAR SHELL MORTAR SHELL VARIOUS OF POLICE OFFICERS PRESENTING MORTAR SHELL TO JOURNALISTS PHOTOGRAPHER TAKING A PICTURE OF MORTAR SHELL JOURNALIST ASKING QUESTION TO DELA ROSA (SOUNDBITE) (Filipino/English) PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE CHIEF, RONALD DELA ROSA, SAYING: "We can theorize that this bomb is being used as a diversion, to make us lessen our military operations in central Mindanao, which is likely." REPORTER ASKING QUESTION TO DELA ROSA (SOUNDBITE) (Filipino/English) PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE CHIEF, RONALD DELA ROSA, SAYING: "Since the proximity is about 100 to 150 metres away from the U.S. embassy then this could have been used to scare them." DELA ROSA SPEAKING (SOUNDBITE) (Filipino/English) PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE CHIEF, RONALD DELA ROSA, SAYING: "We're always prepared. I will personally hug that bomb if there's another one out there. I've done that before in Davao." VARIOUS EXTERIOR OF U.S. EMBASSY MAIN STREET OUTSIDE U.S. EMBASSY POLICE VAN ALONG MAIN STREET
- Embargoed: 13th December 2016 09:34
- Keywords: bomb threat improvised explosive U.S. embassy Ronald Dela Rosa Islamist militants
- Location: MANILA, PHILIPPINES
- City: MANILA, PHILIPPINES
- Country: Philippines
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace
- Reuters ID: LVA0015ACYB0L
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Philippine police conducted a controlled detonation of a home-made bomb found in a trash bin near the U.S. embassy in Manila on Monday (November 28) and said militants sympathetic to Islamic State could have been responsible.
National police chief Ronald dela Rosa said components of the improvised explosive device suggested it could have been planted by the Maute, a Muslim rebel group that has pledged allegiance to Islamic State.
Maute's fighters were locked in a standoff with the military for a third day in the country's south. More rebels were reported killed on Monday, taking the number of dead to 19.
"We can theorize that this bomb is being used as a diversion, to make us lessen our military operations in central Mindanao, which is likely," dela Rosa told a news conference.
The embassy had no immediate comment on the discovery of the bomb, which was left about 200 meters from the compound. Business there continued as normal, with dozens of Filipinos queuing outside for visa applications.
An 81 mm mortar round was used as an explosive device and that was a signature of the group, Dela Rosa said. Similar components were used in a September 2 bombing in Davao, which killed 15 people and wounded about 70.
Maute were blamed for that attack and four of its members were arrested and found with video clips of them pledging allegiance.
Dela Rosa said intelligence operations would intensify and checkpoints would be set up around the capital.
"We're always prepared. I will personally hug that bomb if there's another one out there. I've done that before in Davao," Dela Rosa said, commenting how he once tackled a bomb-wielding suspect while serving as a local police chief.
Since the Davao bombing, the Philippines has been under what is termed a "state of lawlessness," allowing the military to support the police, if required by the president.
That has led to frequent speculation that martial law could be declared to support President Rodrigo Duterte's deadly drugs war, something his office has repeatedly dismissed.
In Lanao, a restive southern province, soldiers battled the Maute group to re-take an old town hall building, sending hundreds of residents fleeing.
Army spokesman Major Filemon Tan said about a dozen soldiers had been wounded in an air-and-ground assault.
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