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Bomb Discovered at Chingis Khaan Airport

By B.KHASH-ERDENE

With the information that a possible bomb was found at the Chingis Khaan International Airport, we headed there on Friday morning to see for ourselves.
When we arrived at the airport at 08:40 in the morning, we found all the provincial and international flights on hold and the waiting hall was packed with passengers. A “possible” bomb was discovered and hence a state of emergency was announced. All the operations were stopped and the passengers, airport workers and the friends and family who came to say goodbye to the passengers were all in a state of panic.
A total of 162 personnel consisting of people from General Intelligence Agency,the State Investigation Office, the National Emergency Management Agency, the General Authority for Border Protection, the Information Management Center and Chingis Khaan Airport authority arrived to search and investigate the place where the bomb was found. The Explosive Item Search and Disposal Squad of Armed Force division 084 took the explosive a safe distance from the airport and neutralized it at 09:10 and transferred the item to the General Intelligence Agency, Criminal Policy Department and State Investigation Office’s investigative team assigned for this case.

We tried to clarify details about the item with the Armed Force division 084 officials, who informed us, “We have neutralized a small size military explosive that is used for training purposes, which was found in the bin near the passenger registration hall of the airport. It is not very big in size. About the size of a thumb and there was a wire attached to one end that was supposed to ignite the explosive. This item is only used to make loud noises. After neutralizing the explosive, we conducted a search of all of the planes and didn’t find anything suspicious – hence all the flights were carried out as usual. Details about the explosive such as who planted it with what purpose and its source will be investigated by the investigative team of police and intelligence agency. Our assignment was to defuse it and we have executed it.”
Unofficial sources stated that it was a small item that looked as though it was wrapped in matchsticks. When asked about who could have planted the item from the workers of international passenger service hall, they stated, “Passengers flying to Seoul and people who were at the duty shop were taken out of the hall by the authority at around 07:00 and they were questioned. The item was found from the restroom bin of the passenger hall.” Some stated, “The person who planted the explosive left on the 06:20 flight to Osaka, Japan.” When asked about this, the airport security stated that they don’t know.
At 09:30, Emergency Management officials began searching the area with search dogs for possible explosives. All luggage of the passengers to Seoul was brought back from the plane and searched individually.
A janitor from the Airport Service Company stated, “At around 07:00 in the morning, one of our janitors said that they found a bomb in the trash bin of the passenger hall restroom.” The janitor who found the explosive didn’t report anything, explaining, “The airport authority told me not to give any information.” We met others who claimed it was a training program. We were told the explosive was a device used in military training that emitted loud bangs. But if it really was a training program, would they have put all the flight on hold and called in all the special and emergency squads?
Other sources stated that the US soldiers who participated in the Khaanii Ereld 2012 (Search for King 2012) cooperative training might have left the device because the US team who partook in the event left for home that morning and might have left unauthorised items in the bin.
When we asked about this, workers at the passenger hall stated, “No US troops came through this hall this morning.”
At 11:20 the registration of passengers flying to Seoul, Moscow, Hong Kong, Beijing and Hohhot began and the passengers who came through on the Berlin-Moscow-Ulaanbaatar flight were received. During this time, airport security didn’t allow the press to film or photograph the events.
At 11:30 the General Director of the Chingis Khaan International Airport L.Byambasuren, gave an explanation about the event to the press stating, “At 06:05 this morning, a suspicious device that looked similar to an explosive was found from the passenger hall of the airport. The related authorities were addressed and conducted searches and investigations. The investigation found out that it was a training device used to create loud noises. At the moment an investigation to find who and why they planted the object, is being carried out. We have conducted thorough searches and secured the airport completely and now the operations can continue as normal. Further information will be given in due course.” He also denied news (broadcasted by other online Medias) stating that two explosives were found.

During this time we asked L.Byambasuren some questions.

-Has there even been a similar incident?
-The airport always conducts a thorough security check of all luggage. This is the first time an explosive item was found in the airport.
-Have you checked the security footage to see who planted the object?
-It is being investigated.
-Some sources have stated that the security camera isn’t able to film around the bin. Is it true?
-All of the airport is under security camera, so everything is on footage.
When we asked the related law enforcement and investigative team the possible motivation behind the device being planted they stated, “We cannot say that this is some sort of a terrorist act to cause panic or to warn people. It is possible that someone realized that they were not supposed to have the item and disposed of it in the trash bin.”
One other source at the investigative team stated, “Khaanii Ereld international military cooperative training ended two days before the incident. Some of the troops from various countries have left through the Chingis Khaan airport since the night before the incident. It might be that one of them wanted to avoid being suspected of carrying a potential dangerous item and left it behind. But we have to conduct a thorough investigation to be sure.”

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