Hotel blast kills 2 in Cagayan de OroBy Cai Panlilio
Associated Press, Inquirer Mindanao
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines–An improvised explosive device went off near the city’s Cogon area at around 1:50 a.m. Thursday, killing two people and wounding two officers.
Investigators said the bomb, which was left beside the Maxandrea Hotel along JR Borja Street, was placed inside a plastic.
Cagayan de Oro City police chief Gerardo Rosales says no motive or suspects have been identified in the blast Thursday morning.
One bystander was killed on the spot and another died in the hospital. No guest or hotel staff was hurt.
Rosales says two officers who responded to a call that several unidentified men were acting suspiciously saw a small metal container near the hotel and called a bomb squad.
The officers were wounded when the device, which was packed with nails, exploded as they backed away from it.
Victoriano del Rosario, a security guard in one of the buildings in front of the hotel, first noticed the plastic bag around 1 a.m. and alerted the security guards of the hotel and in a nearby lodge.
“At first, we thought it was a pair of shoes but when we poked inside, we saw a ‘kaldero’ (casserole) and a cellphone inside. It looked like an explosive device to us so we called up the police,” he said.
When the explosive device went off, an unidentified male bystander, who was about 20 meters away from the device, was killed. Police Officer 1 Dexter Dano was hit by a shrapnel on the leg.
As of this posting, members of the Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) were still gathering fragments of the device. Authorities have yet to find a “trigger device” to determine if it was remotely activated or not.
Criminal gangs as well as Muslim and communist rebels operate in the restive southern region.