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Tuesday January 17, 2006

Cops: It was bomb blast


bernardsee@thestar.com.my 

PENANG: Shrapnel from a homemade metal pipe bomb filled with nails and live ammunition and not an exploding switch box killed a 47-year-old man at Prangin Mall on Sunday. 

State CID chief Senior Asst Comm (II) Syed Ismail Syed Azizan said more than 20 nails and four bullet casings were found scattered about 15m from where the bomb had exploded. 

“Our investigations showed that the crudely-made pipe bomb was detonated with a delayed fuse. Someone lit the fuse and fled the scene a few seconds before the explosion on Sunday night. 

BLAST SITE: Police looking for clues at the cafe in Prangin Mall Monday.
“The bomb was either made with sulphur or gunpowder. Samples had been sent to the Chemistry Department to determine the actual substance used,” he said yesterday. 

Yeoh Kok Siew, a clothing company staff, was killed when shrapnel from the bomb pierced his jugular, causing him to bleed to death during the 8.30pm incident.  

He was about to enter a cafe to give moral support to his brother, who was taking part in a singing competition there. 

The bomb was placed under a switch box, and the explosion left a 12.7cm-deep, 60cm in diameter hole. 

SAC Syed Ismail told a press conference that the incident had nothing to do with terrorists, as anyone could have made such a bomb.  

He said it was just like a meriam buluh (bamboo cannon) made by kampung boys. 

“No subversive elements were involved in the making of the bomb as the explosives used were low impact. This is an isolated incident and is unlikely to happen again. 

“The motive of the incident has yet to be determined but business rivalry has not been ruled out. It is very unfortunate that the explosion occurred during a singing competition,” he added. 

KEEN SEARCH: Shrapnel and bullet casings were found up to 15m from where the bomb was exploded on Sunday night.
The cafe has been operating since Prangin Mall opened its doors several years ago. Local bands usually entertain customers at the cafe, which opens till late at night. 

Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon, who was also at the press conference, said there was no cause for alarm as the situation was under control. 

“I would like to urge the people not to spread or listen to rumours. The police will update the people through the media,” he added. 

Dr Koh said the explosion was initially thought to be caused by a switch box fault but Tenaga Nasional technicians checked and found otherwise.  

Witnesses or those with information on the incident are urged to contact the investigating officer, ASP Asri Akmal (019-5670059) or the police hotline at Tel 04-2282222.  

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