2 dead, 6 injured in twin Quiapo blasts
MANILA, Philippines (6th UPDATE) – Two people were killed and 6 others injured in two explosions in Quiapo, Manila, on Saturday, May 6.
The first bast happened along Norzagaray Street corner Elizondo Street near the Manila Golden Mosque at 5:55 pm on Saturday, killing two people – one of them named Mohamad Bainga – and hurting 4 others, police said.
A second explosion happened near the first blast site, less than two hours later. Police reported that a member each of the Explosives Ordinance Disposal and the Scene of the Crime Operatives teams, who were securing the first blast site, were hurt in the second explosion.
Police identified the SOCO-Manila Police District member as Eliza Arturo, who was slightly injured and was brought to the Medical Center Manila; and the other as Police Office 2 Aldrin Resos who was administered first aid.
NCRPO chief Director Oscar Albayalde said in an interview on ANC Saturday night that in the first blast, the explosive was contained in a package that was intended for a "specific person" he did not identify.
The two people who were killed were the person bearing the package and the caretaker who received it, he said.
Those who were hurt in the first blast were people in the adjacent stalls, Albayalde said, adding that they only suffered "minor injuries" that required only 3of the 4 to be brought to the hospital.
The NCRPO identified the 3 victims as Jaber Gulam of Lanao Del Sur and Datu Sohair Adapun of Marawi City who were brought to the Mary Child Hospital, and Hajhi Ali of Gunao, Quiapo, who was brought to the UST hospital.
'No indications' of terrorist attack
"There are no indications that this is a terrorist attack. The package was intended for a specific person," Albayalde said, responding to questions in the ANC interview.
When asked, he said that the proximity of the blast to the mosque was part of the investigation.
EOD teams were deployed to secure the Islamic Center in Quiapo and investigate the cause of the blast.
Asked whether the blasts were connected to the April 28 explosion in Quiapo that hurt 14 people, Albayalde said: "We cannot determined that as yet. As of this time, there is no indication of any connection to the incident last April 28." (READ: Quiapo blast victim loses leg, alone in hospital)
Police said that a pipe bomb caused the April 28 blast, and insisted it was not a terrorism incident related to the gathering of political leaders. Manila was hosting the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and Related Meetings when that blast happened.
In a statement late Saturday night, Albayalde said the police "will leave no stone unturned until we make arrests and give justice to the victims."
He urged the public to remain vigilant and to refrain from posting "unconfirmed" information on social media.
"While our team assess and investigate the situation in Quiapo, I urge everyone to remain vigilant and provide cooperation to our policemen especially those living the area of explosion," he said.
"Your authorities are on top of the situation, while there is no reason for the public to be alarmed, I request everyone especially those on social media to please refrain from posting and passing on unconfirmed information so we do not sow fear or mislead the public," the NCRPO chief added. – Rappler.com