The Philippines is a country that has been known to have some terrorist threats in it. On Monday, an improvised explosive device had apparently been placed in a trash bin near the United States Embassy in Manila. Fortunately, the explosive device was discovered before it had a chance to go off.
Metropolitan Manila police officers rushed to the scene and their explosives experts detonated the explosive device at a safe distance away from everyone else. Authorities shut down certain areas of the roadway it was on so they could detonate it safely. There were no reports of anyone being injured from the device so it looks like the authorities got there just in time.
Director-General Ronald dela Rosa spoke at a news conference shortly after the discovery of the device. He told reporters that the Manila police are thinking that Maute militants were responsible for an “attempted act of terrorism” against the U.S. Embassy in Manila. They believe the embassy was in fact the intended target.
The improvised explosive device contained an 81 mm mortar round, a tiny battery, a blasting cap, and a cellphone. The explosion would have been powerful enough to kill anyone within a 110-yard radius of the device if it had gone off undiscovered like it was intended to. Since the U.S. embassy was only 22 yards away from the trash bin, the explosion would have certainly damaged a substantial portion of the embassy and killed anyone within its range.
According to Manila City Police Chief Joel Coronel, the authorities are looking over security cameras from within the area. There were also two eyewitnesses that are being questioned as well. So far, no suspects have been announced as of yet.
The Maute militants are a major terrorist threat in the Philippines. In September 2nd, they were responsible for a bombing that took place in Davao city. The Philippines military believes the group has about 200 militants in it.