Two dead, 6 injured in Quiapo explosions

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By Gerg Cahiles/CNN Philippines – Authorities are verifying the contents of another suspicious package found along Quezon Boulevard Sunday morning.

Authorities deployed a bomb disposal robot at around 10:15 a.m. to see what the package contained.

Two were killed and six injured in two separate blasts that rocked Quiapo, Manila on Saturday night.

The first explosion hit the office of the Shia Group on Norzagaray St. corner Elizondo St., near the Manila Golden Mosque at around 6 p.m.

National Capital Region Police Chief Oscar Albayalde said in a media briefing that the first explosive was inside a small box delivered as a package.

The person who delivered the package and the one who received it were both killed, Albayalde said. One of them was identified as Mohamad Bainga.

The police are still determining the motive behind the explosions, but Albayalde said there is no indication they are terrorist-related, or connected to the April 28 blast also in Quiapo that injured 14 people.

“Ang initial findings is may dinalang package dito at around 5:40 p.m,” he said. “At pagka-deliver kung sino yung nag-deliver, isa ‘yun sa mga namatay plus yung pinagabutan na sinasabing caretaker sa lugar na ito.”

[Translation: The initial findings are that a package was brought here at around 5:40 p.m. And when it was delivered, the person who gave the package was one of those who died, plus the supposed caretaker of this place who received it.]

Two of the four injured victims in the first blast were identified as Jaber Gulam from Lanao Del Sur and Datu Sohair Adapun from Marawi City, who were rushed to Mary Child Hospital in Sampaloc, Manila.

The third victim, Hajhi Ali of Gunao in Quiapo, was rushed to the University of Santo Tomas Hospital.

On the possibility the incidents were terrorist acts, Albayalde said: “Wala. Most probably, from all the indications wala ito. Kasi unang-una, it’s a package. It’s intended for a certain person.”

[Translation: None. Most probably, from all the indications, they are not. Because first of all, it’s a package. It’s intended for a certain person.]

As the police explosives team were examining the site of the first blast, another explosion occurred near the area at around 8:30 p.m. Two police officers were hurt.

One was Manila Police District (MPD) Chief Chemist Chief Inspector Elisa Reyes Arturo, who was rushed to the Manila Medical Center. The other was PO2 Aldrin Resos of the MPD K-9 Unit.

Police have not yet determine the type of explosives used in both explosions.

Meanwhile, police used a “water-charged explosive” to open a suspicious bag near the area.

Senior Insp. Arnold Santos of the MPD Explosives Ordinance Division told CNN Philippines that the bag was tied to a motorcycle that was supposedly left after the blast.

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