January 24 2009
About 60 mortar rounds from the Second World War have been discovered under the American embassy in the Philippines
American diplomats are usually among the best protected people on the planet, living behind bullet-proof glass, concrete blast barriers and cordons of armed marines.
The last thing workers digging in the grounds expected to discover, therefore, was a huge cache of bombs buried in the embassy’s grounds.
The Philippine capital, Manila, was the scene of terrible fighting at the end of the Second World War, when American forces tried to liberate the country from Japanese occupation.
Parts of the city were carpet bombed by American planes before the eruption of fierce ground fighting after troops were landed.
The rusted, mud-covered rounds were removed by explosives experts on Saturday after the embassy was evacuated, and were transported to a police base.
“They got everything that was found there,” said Rebecca Thompson, a spokeswoman for the embassy.
The compound had been used during the war as a Japanese military headquarters, overlooking Manila bay.
“Those bombs could still kill and create massive destruction,” said Leopoldo Bataoil, the city police chief.
“There are sets of standard operating procedures we follow in properly disposing of these materials. We will examine these and take them to an area north of Manila where these will be properly detonated.”
Leave it to the US to leave munitions in the yard. How irresponsible. Why keep them at the Embassy?