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Manila police safely detonate suspected bomb near US Embassy

A Philippine National Police bomb disposal squad member leans as he points to remnants of a package after detonating it in the middle of the boulevard near the U.S. Embassy in Manila, Philippines Monday, Nov. 28, 2016. Police said a suspicious package believed to be IED or Improvised Explosive Device was found in the trash bin early Monday. AP/Bullit Marquez

MANILA, Philippines — Manila police detonated a suspected bomb found Monday in a trash bin just a few meters from the US Embassy, snarling morning traffic after authorities closed a portion of a major boulevard where the device was found. No one was reported hurt in the incident.

Two explosions were heard as a bomb disposal unit detonated what police described as a suspicious package believed to be an improvised explosive device.

Street sweeper Winniefreda Francisco says she called police after finding a cellphone attached to a bottle-like cylinder wrapped in black, with wires connecting the cylinder to the phone. It was not immediately clear if the device found was really a bomb.

Reports said vendors saw a taxi driver unloading the suspicious package.

The Manila Police District earlier said the suspected bomb was just junk.
 
However, National Capital Region Police Office head Chief Superintendent Oscar Albayalde confirmed in an interview with radio dzMM that the suspected bomb was an improvised explosive device.
 
He said the IED was made out of a blasting cap, detonator, cellphone, a 9-volt battery, and an 81-mm mortar.
 
Albayalde added that improvised bomb was similar to one used in the September 2 bombing in a Davao City night market.
 
Metropolitan Manila Development Authority official Frisco San Juan Jr. said they had to divert traffic from a portion of Roxas Boulevard fronting the embassy. The closed lane of the road was reopened after police declared the area safe. —With a report from Philstar.com/Rosette Adel and Kristian Javier and The STAR/Rey Galupo
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