An explosion outside an underground train station in the Chilean capital of Santiago on Monday afternoon is a suspected “terrorist” act, say government officials.
At least 10 people were wounded in the lunchtime blast that shook a small shopping mall and food court inside Escuela Militar metro station in the affluent Las Condes neighborhood, Reuters reports. None of the injuries were fatal.
“This is an act that has all the hallmarks of a terrorist deed,” Álvaro Elizalde, the government’s chief spokesman, told reporters outside La Moneda presidential palace. “There is no doubt.”
The blast was the worst yet of at least 29 small-scale bombings and attempted bombings this year in normally peaceful Santiago. Anarchist groups have claimed responsibility for planting many of the devices, not all of which have detonated, and have called for the release of two associates who are imprisoned in Spain.
“This is a cowardly act because it has as its objective to hurt people, create fear and even kill innocent people,” said President Michelle Bachelet. “This is horrible, tremendously reprehensible, but Chile is and remains a safe country.”
No one has yet claimed responsibility for this latest bombing, but security footage shows two suspects putting an explosive device in a metal container, likely a trash can, Interior Minister Mahmud Aleuy told Reuters.
The attack also comes three days before the 41st anniversary of the 1973 coup that ousted socialist President Salvador Allende and began the 17-year dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet. Chilean politics are usually tense around the anniversary, and protests can teeter on violence. Chile returned to democracy in 1990.
Rescue crews search the area surrounding Escuela Militar metro station in Santiago where a bomb exploded on Sept. 8, 2014.