Two detained for San Pedro grenade explosion

By Michelle Sutherland
Staff Reporter

Two persons, including a minor, have been detained for questioning by San Pedro Police in connection with the detonation of a grenade in a residential area of the island over the weekend.

The detonation of the grenade is a serious safety concern as the incident is the first of its kind to occurr on the island in the past 20 years, according to bomb expert and Commander of the Belize Defence Force (BDF) Brigadier General David Jones, who was sent in to assist in the investigation.
At a press Briefing held at the Racoon street police station on Monday, Jones confirmed that the explosive was a US M67 type fragmentation grenade, which has a steel body.

Around 8:00 p.m. on Saturday September 16th, residents in the San Mateo subdivision of the island heard a loud bang, followed by the effects of shock waves surrounding the immediate area of the residence of 39-year-old Amancia Martinez. Two men reportedly threw the explosive on her front porch then ran away.

Although no one was in the immediate area at the time of the incident, Jones confirmed that anyone who was within a five meter radius of the explosion would have been ripped apart by the deadly emission of fragments from the explosive.
Additionally, serious casualties would have occurred up to 15 meters away from the scene, while secondary effects would have spread out for approximately 230 meters.

Jones also confirmed that the house was not seriously damaged except for a hole under the steps of the building. The grenades, which are packed with 6.5 to 7 ounces of explosives, are constructed for war purposes and meant to cause deadly injuries from the emission of the fragments.

While the explosive detonated in a closed yard, fragments blasted through a house which was approximately 15 meters away from the blast zone.
Police were not able to determine what might have triggered the attack on Martinez’s home, and confirmed that for safety reasons, additional police patrols have been dispatched to the area..

There have been several explosives found in Belize over the last two months. In August, Belize City police uncovered an Austrian hand grenade in an empty lot on Pluse Street, in September another explosive device was found on Vernon Street, while a high end automatic explosive was recovered last week in Corozal Town.
Commander Jones say that the explosives seems to be coming in through the borders.

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