Friday, 11 December 2009 04:22
A late-night bomb shook the Region VIII city of Concepcíon Tuesday night, just days ahead of this Sunday’s election. The nine-pound device, detonated on Cerro Caracol, exploded near a communications tower and was heard throughout the city, creating panic among residents.
This is the fourth such device to be detonated in Region VIII this year and the most powerful so far. Authorities blame anarchist groups for the bombs, saying they are politically motivated attempts to create panic and confusion.
Region VIII Governer Erick Aedo denounced the bombing and vowed to prosecute those responsible, saying, “We will not accept (this bombing) to create public commotion or uncertainty or fear so close to the electoral process.”
Bombs and bomb scares have plagued Chile in recent years and despite creation of a special bomb investigation unit, authorities have made few arrests. (ST, Nov 24)
Police claim over 200 hoax bomb threats have been made in recent months, including a false alert that forced the closure of Santiago’s Baquedano metro station on November 19 (ST. Nov 19). A bomb left in a Marriott Hotel bathroom on Nov. 4 left six injured (ST. Nov. 5).
Authorities have announced tightening security measures in the wake of this week’s election by mobilizing more than 35,000 police officers to ensure things run smoothly. (ST, Dec. 10)
Interior Ministry Undersecretary Patricio Rosende has been critical of the ongoing bomb investigations, but assures voters that “all possible security measures have been taken for the election.”