60mm mortar, cellphone-activated bomb killed Davao blast victims

What kind of bomb killed the 14 blast victims and wounded some 60 others in Davao on Friday night, September 2?

The Roxas Night Market lethal bomb was made of a 60-mm mortar triggered by a cellphone—a common triggering mechanism used for terroristic bombings. With this contraption, suspects can walk away a safe distance from the bombing site and detonate the explosive anytime they want by just making the cellphone ring.

Senior Supt. Michael John Dubria, Davao City Police Director, even showed a piece of the fuse assembly they found at the crime scene for media members to see, saying “We have a portion of the fuse assembly taken from one of the victims’ bodies.”

The fuse or detonating assembly formed part of the 60-mm mortar—a war bomb used by propelling action and launched through high-arcing ballistic trajectories—and was recovered from the liver of one of the survivors of the incident. According to a GMA News report, the survivor underwent surgery.

Other parts of the improvised explosive device or IED were found at the site.

Why the use of a 60-mm mortar? Aside from being traditionally used in combat operations (and thus easily available), a mortar bomb delivers an explosion strong enough to guarantee damage to property and fatal casualties. Besides, mortar bombs are easily carried by hand and concealed in bags.

Cellphone is a popular triggering device used in terrorist bombings.


SPO2 Consorcio Gerones, Jr., an ordnance or weaponry specialist and connected with the Davao City Explosives and Ordnance Division, explained the devastation of a mortar bomb: “Yung malagay siya sa hard object, ‘yung shockwave ng pagputok, mag-double siya (If the bomb is placed against a hard object, the shockwave of the explosion will create a double effect).” That makes the blast more devastating.

Dubria for his part observed that the IED was assembled in the same way the IED used in the Ecoland Terminal bombing in 2015 was created. Thus, the possibility that whoever was responsible behind the Ecoland blast was also responsible for the Roxas Night Market Bombing.

In the police investigation, it was found that a man had a massage at the Roxas Night Market before the time of the explosion which was about 10 pm, Friday. According to the GMA News Online report, the bomb exploded before the massage was finished.

“This IED was carried by one person (who placed the bomb) inside a bag (and) who availed of a massage service of the night market. That person left hurriedly. We believe that IED exploded pag-alis nung tao (when the man left),” Dubria explained.

Aside from this male suspect, the police are considering two women who accompanied him to the scene as accomplices.

Sources: (,


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