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Authorities: retrieved grenade “could have caused major damage”

Edward Broaster

Edward Broaster

Edward Broaster

Thursday, September 11, 2014. AARON HUMES Reporting: On Wednesday, for the second time in less than four days, police and the Belize Defence Force were called out to retrieve a hand grenade from the streets of Belize City.

Not far from the site of the very first grenade attack which took place in May of 2008, police retrieved this grenade from an overgrown empty lot, hidden in some bushes near a sloping fence.

It had been wrapped up in multiple layers of plastic and taped. Authorities are now seeking to find out who placed it there and what plans there were for it.

Today Senior Superintendent Edward Broaster, Deputy Officer Commanding Eastern Division and also Commander of Operations, stated that the person who placed the grenade there did so within half an hour of the police alert, and that it appears to be a different person from the individual who placed the Banak Street grenade.

The person who tipped off police remains nameless and that will hopefully prevent him from being found out and killed.

That aspect of the case continues to be investigated, but for now it has been labeled found property.

The American-type explosive device, if used, could have caused even greater damage if detonated than the British grenade which exploded in that area, killing 1 young man and wounding 12 others. But there is no intelligence to suggest it would have been used at the Citizens’ Parade earlier in the day, or any other high-profile event, Broaster said.

Brigadier General David Jones

Brigadier General David Jones

Belize’s premier bomb expert and commander of the Belize Defence Force, Brigadier General David Jones, was at the official ceremony for St. George’s Caye Day across town at the Memorial Park but was called in to safely dispose of the grenade.

Authorities are tracing where the grenade came from and General Jones would interface with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) to find out.

There is no indication of if any grenades were brought in by American authorities for training in Belize.

Police have questioned several persons in relation to the incident.

A .38 revolver was also recovered.

Broaster also responded to cynical suggestions that police may have planted the device in order to boost their own profile.

He called it “ludicrous” to suggest that the Department would in any way attempt to endanger citizens’ lives for cheap stunts.

Police expect to continue finding grenades, though they are not sure where they may be hidden.

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