Ecuador’s president has declared a state of emergency and tightened security in two cities after a car bomb attack on a police station in San Lorenzo injured at least 28 people and damaged dozens of buildings.
“I’ve declared the state of emergency in San Lorenzo and Eloy Alfaro to strengthen the security of the citizens and the border, as well as to strengthen the attention of the Health, Inclusion, Risks and Housing Ministries for an integrated solution,” the country’s president Lenin Moreno said on Twitter on Saturday afternoon in the aftermath of the morning blast.
There were no fatalities in what the president described as a “terrorist act linked to drug trafficking and criminal groups,” but at least 28 people were injured in the powerful blast – including 14 officers, according to local media.
In addition, some 37 buildings were damaged, including the police headquarters, which suffered significant structural damage, according to Ecuador’s General Prosecutor’s Office.
“We won’t allow them intimidate us,” Moreno added, as he ordered an intensification of the ongoing crackdown on local drug cartels. The large-scale operation has so far resulted in the arrest of at least seven suspects and confiscation of seven tons of chemicals and drug precursors, according to El Comercio.
Meanwhile in neighboring Colombia, a similar bomb attack targeting a police headquarters resulted in at least 5 deaths and dozens of injuries on Saturday. Authorities suspect the “act of barbarity” was perpetrated by one of the country’s numerous criminal gangs in retaliation against a similar police crackdown. Colombian authorities offered a reward of 50 million pesos (some $18,000) for any useful information about the perpetrators.
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