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Two grenades found near US compound in Manila

MANILA, November 17, 2010 (AFP) – Philippine police said Wednesday they had removed a bag containing two grenades from a street near a Manila housing compound owned by the US embassy.

President Benigno Aquino has ordered police to establish the source of the hand grenade and rifle grenade and determine why they were left at a flower box near the US embassy’s Seafront property.

The munitions were probably ditched there by common criminals who were about to run into a government checkpoint, said police investigator Senior Inspector Napoleon Cuaton.

“I do not see any link between this and (terrorism),” Cuaton told GMA television, referring to warnings issued by the US and five other Western governments early this month over a supposed imminent terrorist attack.

The Philippine government has formally called on Australia, Britain, Canada France, New Zealand and the United States to lift the advisories but this appeal has so far gone unheeded.

US embassy spokeswoman Rebecca Thompson told AFP a street sweeper found a suspicious package outside the US compound and alerted one of the guards, who in turn called police.

“We commend their prompt action. We are grateful that no one was injured in the incident,” Thompson added.

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