Fatal car explosion outside Kitchener courthouse caused by suspected I.E.D.

WATCH: Police say man killed by IED in Kitchener detonated the bomb

Waterloo Regional Police say a man’s body was found inside a car that exploded outside of the regional courthouse in Kitchener on Friday morning.

Police said the explosion “appears to be the result of a suspected improvised explosive device.”

At around 5 p.m., police announced that officers were at homes on Hearthwood Drive and Grand Flats Trail in Kitchener with Peel Regional Police Explosives Disposal Unit “to ensure the safety of these residences.” Before 8 p.m., officers said the homes were cleared.

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Emergency crews were initially dispatched to Duke Street between Frederick and Scott streets on Friday at around 10:30 a.m. to extinguish a car that was on fire.

“At this point, it’s very early in the investigation,” Const. Andre Johnson said from the scene at noon. “We are still trying to determine the cause of the fire and exactly what occurred.”

While he couldn’t say if there were any injuries, police announced later on Friday that a body had been discovered inside the car.

“We have our explosive device unit on scene trying to determine an origin of the explosion,” police spokesperson Cherri Greeno said.

She says they have evacuated the area and are advising people to stay away as a precaution.

“We have a large police presence there for quite some time,” she explained.

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She was uncertain whether the investigation would affect the nearby Kitchener Market which is open for business on Saturday mornings.

It’s one of three major investigations that happened in the Kitchener-Waterloo area on Friday morning.

Officers are also in the area of King Street and Jackson Avenue for reports of a man with a gun after a taxi driver was assaulted.

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The man fled on foot and there was a large police presence in the area.

Meanwhile, a vehicle hit a hydro pole in the area of Union and Weber streets in Waterloo.

An elderly woman was pronounced dead and power was knocked out to thousands of customers.

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