A 17-year-old construction worker got killed while six other people were injured when an improvised explosive device (IED) went off at an eatery in Zamboanga City on Wednesday night, police said.

Chief Supt. Elpidio de Asis, Zamboanga Peninsula regional director, said the explosion occurred at the Toribio eatery in Brgy. Sangali around 9:15 p.m.

“The explosion happened while the Zamboanga City Police’s Explosives and Ordnance Division team was disrupting another IED at a nearby area Lotto outlet,” de Asis said in a text message.

Senior Supt. Edwin de Ocampo, city police director, identified the lone fatality as Lodito Ybanez.

“Construction worker siya na nakatambay doon sa harap nung eatery, ayon sa mga tao doon, kinalikot niya yung IED nung makita kaya sumabog… sa mga injured, yung iba ay customers nung eatery,” De Ocampo said in a phone interview.

The eatery’s owner, Jaime Toribio, is not the chairman of Brgy. Sangali as earlier reported, but a brother of the village executive, Paul Toribio, according to the police official.

“Sa findings ng EOD team natin, lumabas na yung sumabog ay isang ‘collapsible bomb’ na sasabog kapag mahina na yung battery niya,” De Ocampo said, adding that traces of amonium nitrate were found at the site.

Authorities have yet to determine who planted the bombs at the eatery and the lotto outlet.

Meanwhile, members of the Zamboanga City Police and the military’s Task Force Zamboanga have been sent to secure the area, which lies 33 kilometers east of the city proper and on the way to Zamboanga Sibugay.

The incident occurred just hours after the military and police overran a bandit lair in the neighboring province.

On Tuesday night, the military also clashed with “lawless elements” off the city’s eastern shoreline. (John Roson)

– end –