MANILA - One person was killed and seven others wounded on Friday when a grenade blast and a gunbattle rocked an upscale shopping mall in a suburb of the Philippine capital, police said.
The blast and shoot-out were believed to be part of a failed attempt to rob an armoured car delivering cash to the Alabang Town Center mall, on the outskirts of Manila.
Armed men first hurled a grenade that exploded in front of a bank, wounding five customers. They then opened fire on mall security guards, said Ernesto Arroyo, an Alabang police officer.
In the ensuing firefight, one of the armed men was killed and two security guards were wounded before the other gunmen fled the scene, Arroyo added.
Just hours afterwards, the police chief in charge of Alabang, Senior Superintendent Ramilo Bausa, was sacked over the incident, a police statement said.
The Philippine military is fighting communist insurgents and Muslim extremists but weaponry such as hand grenades and assault rifles often end up in the hands of rebels and ordinary criminals.
Earlier this month, communist guerrillas hurled a grenade at soldiers guarding a village festival in the southern Philippines, only to have it explode among the civilians, wounding about 40 of them.
In March, a security guard was killed and five people were wounded as armed men used grenades and firearms to rob a money-changer's shop in another upscale suburban Manila shopping mall.