Crime & Justice

Ecuador to charge 7 with terrorism after spate of deadly attacks

Quito, Nov 2 (EFE).- Seven of the 28 people arrested in the wake of bombings and shootings that left five Ecuadorian police officers dead will be charged with terrorism, the Attorney General’s Office said Wednesday.

The seven defendants were apprehended late Tuesday in Duran, a town in the coastal province of Guayas, after two police were fatally shot.

They were detained in possession of two rifles, three handguns and ammunition, the AG Office said on Twitter.

Police and military personnel operating under the state of emergency President Guillermo Lasso declared in Guayas and Esmeraldas provinces arrested a total of 28 people and seized firearms, ammo and explosives.

A separate operation in the southern province of El Oro led to two arrests and the confiscation of a truck carrying 16,416 wads of explosives, 1,200 dynamite sticks and 150,000 detonators.

While most of the attacks were directed at police and official installations, the targets included a clinic in Guayaquil, the capital of Guayas province and Ecuador’s largest city.

The head of the National Police, Fausto Salinas, attributed the outburst to gangs unhappy about plans to transfer inmates from an overcrowded prison in Guayas to another penitentiary in Manabi province.

The inmate transfer went forward and shots were fired inside the Guayas prison Tuesday night during confrontations among rival criminal groups.

“We will continue with operations and alerts at police barracks. We will not rest until we put those responsible behind bars,” Salinas said. “The National Police remain united and consolidated.”

EFE sm/dr

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