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Jan 3, 2013

Grenade found in Church

At news time tonight, George Street, one of the City’s most dangerous neighborhoods, is under increased vigilance by security forces. On Wednesday night a gun and ammunition were found on the premises of the Church of God on West Street and at noon today, the GSU combing through the church, found a live grenade. The explosive device has been traced to a batch stolen from BATSUB years ago and according to a bomb expert it could have turned deadly for children who play at the church yard as well as for residents of the neighborhood. Duane Moody reports.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Just after twelve noon today, this live HE-L109-A1 hand grenade was discovered by the Gang Suppression Unit underneath the Full Hope Church of God Church on West Street in Belize City. The church is elevated approximately four feet from the ground and the grenade was stashed inside the wall of this pool used for Baptisms. It is the last place that one would expect to find the explosive device which according to Lieutenant Colonel James Requeña, could have detonated if tampered with.

 

James Requeña

Lieutenant Colonel James Requeña, Bomb Expert, B.D.F.

“The grenade is in excellent condition; it was being preserved.  We got the call from the police department that they found something suspected and we came down to verify that yes it is a high explosive fragmentation grenade.”

 

Daniel Ortiz

“Was the pin still in sir?”

 

Lieutenant Colonel James Requeña

“Yes the safety spin was still intact.”

 

Daniel Ortiz

“We noticed that you guys went inside. Can you tell us about that?”

 

Lieutenant Colonel James Requeña

“Yes because it was stored in a compartment, we wanted to verify that that was the only item within the compartment which we did. Nothing else is within there. It is always good to retrieve one of those items off the streets of Belize.”

 

The highly explosive fragmentation grenade is one from the batch of twenty-four stolen from BATSUB in 2004.

 

Lieutenant Colonel James Requeña

“It’s a L-109-A1 high explosive grenade fragmentation from similar batch that was missing from the British Forces. So the count now is at eight with sixteen remaining out of twenty-four.”

 

How and when it was placed under the church is unknown, but the discovery was made following a search on the compound. On Wednesday night, GSU conducted a search on the compound that ended with the discovery of a nine millimeter Taurus brand handgun with fifteen live rounds. This triggered a subsequent search at noon which revealed that a grenade was also being hidden in the church.

 

Sylburn Arthurs Sr.

Sylburn Arthurs Sr., Assistant Pastor, Full Hope Church of God Church

“The officer told us that he had found a gun. At this time he did not tell us that it was a grenade. He just came to tell us that they found a gun. So we thought that that is what they had found today. But I was made to understand that that was last night.”

 

Duane Moody

“So a gun was found last night and now today a grenade?”

 

Sylburn Arthurs Sr.

“That is what I was just told. When the officer came in when we were having our meeting, he said that they found a gun. Now we thank god that we were not all arrested and taken in because there are certain laws concerning that. So I told him that the compound is open for the police to check at all times and to deal with anybody who does anything illegal on it. So I stood at that. But when I came outside when they came in. He said sir, we have to ask you all to leave—they are ripping up our floors right now.”

 

This incident has stunned Assistant Pastor of the Church, Sylburn Arthurs Senior as well as neighbors who say that it could have turned deadly for the many children who play in the church yard as well as for residents nearby.

 

Sylburn Arthurs Sr.

“Extremely dangerous for the whole neighborhood. It could have killed a lot of people. This is very sad. It shows the level of disrespect to the church and to the whole community on a whole.”

 

Voice of: Linda Nunez, Resident

“Every day—morning, noon and night—they kids. If they come from school, as soon as they take off their uniform, dah right deh dehn go. So I only glad that they find that because if that mi blow up with dehn kids dehn, lotta kids mi wah dead. Noh only ina my neighborhood, all dehn lee pickney from dehn lee neighborhood, dehn come right yah and play underneath that church.”

 

Lieutenant Colonel James Requeña

“A lot of kids from the neighborhood play in the yard. Had one of them found it and didn’t know what it was and pulled the pin, we would have had several kids injured several or died on the spot.”

 

Arthurs says that security measures will now need to be in place.

 

Sylburn Arthurs Sr.

“We have been trying for quite some time now to put back a fence. The Honorable Finnegan had helped us many times to put up a fence. The dirt trucks and other big vehicles eventually knocked down our fence. When we had the fence it was so secure and much better.”

 

The grenade has since been processed where partial finger prints have been lifted by police personnel. Duane Moody for News Five.

 

According to the GSU, a reputed gang member lives near the church, but no arrests have been made so far.

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7 Responses for “Grenade found in Church”

  1. Storm says:

    Thanks to the police and BDF for protecting us. Please keep up the great work, and crush the gangs “by any means necessary.”

  2. WOW says:

    Do these uneducated, illiterate, stupid, and crazy thugs know the magnitude and devastation caused by a grenade. They themselves will be killed and a few thousand innocent children, babies, people in general will perish. What kinds of accolades are they reaching by killing innocent people? Are they going to reach nirvana? Come on Prime Minister Barrow you have the power to stop these illegal activities that are killing innocent people. Look at what kind of gang initiation they are doing now, look at that man that was shot in the head for no apparent reason. Lets start exercising the laws of the land and make gang activity in the country illegal. Let the cartel sell their own drugs and put the people back to work. Stop all the robberies, you steal and the money just go poof, it disappears because you did not work for it. Start hanging hanging those fools because they are not worth the ground they are walking on. BELIZEANS YOU CAN DO BETTER THAN THIS…LETS BOW OUR HEADS IN PRAYER. JAH PLEASE LOOK UPON OUR BELIZEAN PEOPLE AND SHOW THEM THE RIGHT PATH TO WALK…..PEACE TO ALL WHO BELIEVE IN THE ALMIGHTY.

  3. Al says:

    Criminals have sunk to an all time low, using the church as a place of protection for their illegal activity. Wow, I agree with you that prayer is needed, we also need to respect the Lord our God. The first thing is to call him by his right name, I understand that there is a religious group that call him JAH, research for lyourself why that is not the appropriate way to address God. My bible in John 16: 23 says, pray to the Father in the name of Jesu and the Father will answer our prayer.
    If we are going to pray for the country let us do it right. Thye first thing is we have to get rid of all the false gods and religions, even stop praying to saints who are dead people and can do nothing for us.
    If change is going to come to Belize, only7 god can do it now. In 2013 Belizeans better begin to store up unperishable foods I believe that there will be a disaster that will change the course of the country.
    God is not going to do anything until the people begin to pray to the Father in Jesus name for an end to this spiritual warfare that has fallen on this country. Please ask your churches to start a weekly prayer service and watch the change take place.

  4. Ixchel Pop says:

    GOD has left the belizean churches a long time ago when they began to play pawns with the politicians. all that is said above is mere mombo jombo. When the churches agree to disassociate and extricate themselves from the political system then perhaps they can gain some level of legitmacy…in the meantime time you can waste your time with Prayers to a God who has close his ears to to us a long time ago. Get rid of this mess of a political system that exist as a failed state….then perhaps things will improve.

  5. Pimpernel says:

    Seems as though GSU is our only hope. I used to be concerned about the reports of brutality – the tasering and the putting people to lie on the ground, but I am now a believer. How can you have respect for people who are pillaging and plundering? I think these criminals have set the stage and they should be prepared for whatever is coming to them. GSU, make 2013 a year for law abiding citizens to remember and for these brazen thugs to wish to forget.

  6. regretz says:

    Nothing cant beat GSU Squad. This place is getting like iraq, Just bombs we need. GOB give the GSU the GO AHEAD LLIK all these Thugs,they are no use to the society…get rid of them..go strong GSU. the law abiding citizen is in support.

  7. Hell says:

    Y is it that its just between the Creole people in Belize. Caz they lazy to nikuf hell and have nothing to do. sorry for saying that i know its nots all. Whats the reason, do they get a higher position in going to hell.

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