Crime & Justice

Car bomb causes multiple explosions in Ecuador’s capital

Quito, Aug 30 (EFE).- A car bomb, apparently loaded with two gas cylinders and sticks of dynamite, caused at least four explosions in a commercial area of Ecuador’s capital city, Quito, on Wednesday night.

Although the National Police of Ecuador initially claimed that it was a fire in a vehicle, General Pablo Ramírez later told the media that the incident turned out to be an alleged attack due to the explosive elements involved.

No casualties were reported.

Ramirez said that the police had six people, including five Ecuadorians and a Colombian, for their alleged connection with the car bomb.

The general said that both the car that exploded and the vehicle in which the six detainees were traveling had been reported stolen.

He described the incident as a response by organized crime groups to a series of prisoner transfers carried out on Wednesday.

In a message on social media, the Municipality of Quito said that the incident was being investigated by specialized units of the police.

The explosives team of the Intervention and Rescue Group (GIR), a special unit of the National Police of Ecuador, was at the site to determine the circumstances of the explosion and whether or not there was a detonator, it added.

People close to the investigation said it could be an attack by one of the criminal gangs operating in the country.

An unofficial source said that the incident was possibly linked to the transfer of the ringleader of a criminal group known as “Gordo Luis” to La Roca, a maximum security prison located near the city of Guayaquil.

The gang leader was captured on July 6 in Colombia and handed over to Ecuador, who describe him as the leader of the Los Lobos gang, with links to the Mexican organized crime syndicate, Jalisco New Generation Cartel.

The source noted that the site where the car exploded earlier housed the headquarters of the National Service of Integral. Attention for Persons Deprived of Liberty and Adolescent Offenders (SNAI), the department responsible for overseeing Ecuador’s prisons.

The explosions occurred a few hours after the police announced the results of a raid conducted on Wednesday in the prison in Latacunga, in the Andean province of Cotopaxi.

More than 2,200 police officers and soldiers took part in the raid, during which they found knives, alcohol and electronic equipment, among other banned objects in prisons.

The raid sparked riots by inmates in the prisons in Cuenca and Azogues, the provincial capitals of Azuay and Cañar respectively.

The prisons in Latacunga, Cuenca and Azogues are allegedly controlled by Los Lobos. EFE


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