Fragmentation grenade was “live” -police ; Guyana govt calls incident “domestic terrorism”

Last Updated on Sunday, 5 June 2016, 17:59 by Denis Chabrol

Police on Sunday confirmed that the grenade found near the vehicle owned by Kaieteur News publisher, Glen Lall, was live, triggering strong condemnation from the Guyana government.

“Ballistic experts have confirmed that it was a live grenade and the safety pin was detached from it,” Head of the Criminal Investigations Department, Senior Superintendent Wendell Blanhum told Demerara Waves Online News.

Blanhum said the device is a fragmentation grenade.

No one has so far been arrested, even as investigations continue into the incident that occurred late Friday night, he said.

Other high-level police sources said footage from surveillance cameras are blurred and so investigators were unable to retrieve useful information. The sources said the motive for the grenade being placed there was not clear.

One of the reasons given for the failure of the grenade to explode was poor storage that could have led to deterioration of that device.

Meanwhile, the Guyana government expressed alarm by the attempted “act of domestic terrorism” against Kaieteur News which has been in the forefront “of aggressively and relentlessly reporting on the findings of the many audits of state agencies, the revelations that have oftentimes been explosive.”

“The Coalition Government stands resolutely in defense of press freedom in Guyana and condemns, in the strongest possible manner this heinous and dastardly act of cowardice against Kaieteur News. The Coalition Government is thankful, as are all right thinking Guyanese, that no lives or limbs were lost and there was no damage to property,” the government said in a statement.

The government said it stands in solidarity with Kaieteur News and the entire media fraternity that has been shaken by that attempted attack. “This attack must strengthen our resolve as a nation that evil, in all its forms and incarnations, must not be allowed to prevail and must be relentlessly and uncompromisingly conquered.”

“We do not believe that the dropping of a grenade, even if a fake device, alongside a newspaper publisher’s vehicle could be considered a joke or a hoax. It was grave and an undisputed act of terror designed to intimidate, harm and create fear.”

The Coalition Government says it commits its full support to the Guyana Police Force as it “investigates this sickening attempted act of terrorism. “The government looks forward to the perpetrators and possible intellectual authors being identified, pursued, arrested and placed before the court and being dealt with to the full extent of the law.”

The grenade located near the front rear wheel of Glen Lall's vehicle.

The grenade located near the front rear wheel of Glen Lall’s vehicle.