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PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (December 31, 1998 - PACNEWS)---Police in American Samoa are searching for clues that would lead to the arrest of those responsible for the widespread use of cherry bombs this holiday season.

This follows an incident Christmas Eve where a waiter lost several fingers when he tried to get rid of a lit cherry bomb inside a popular eatery and bar.

Captain Faamausili Mau, Jr., Acting Chief of police services, says locally based purse snatchers are the likely source of cherry bombs, which have found their way into the hands of daring and mischievous youngsters.

Throughout the Christmas period, residents in the town area kept calling police to report cherry bombs going off continuously in their neighborhoods.

Several complained that the explosives were threatening to the lives of elderly family members and those suffering from heart disease and high blood pressure.

Captain Faamausili says police have been urged to be alert and respond immediately to calls of cherry bomb explosions and to thoroughly question youngsters about where they are getting their cherry bombs. He made it clear that the police will go after anyone found giving out cherry bombs and has asked for the public's co-operation in identifying and locating the culprits.

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