Bomb Wounds 1 at Church in Chile

| May 31, 2010

SANTIAGO – An attendant was wounded when a bomb exploded at a church in an affluent east Santiago neighborhood, the Chilean press reported.

The bomb went off at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at the Immaculate Conception Church in Vitacura, the wealthiest district in the South American country.

The blast caused minor damage to the church and wounded an attendant who was cleaning inside.

Carabineros militarized police officers and emergency services personnel closed off the area around the church.

An anonymous caller told Radio Bio Bio that a bomb had been planted at the church, and the radio station notified police.

This was the second bombing of a church in Chile in the past month.

A small bomb exploded on April 27 outside a Catholic church in the southern city of Temuco, destroying the front door and shattering windows, police and press reports said.

The blast occurred at the Church of the Good Shepherd in downtown Temuco, the capital of La Araucania region, some 672 kilometers (about 420 miles) south of Santiago.

The explosion also damaged some nearby houses, Radio Cooperativa said.

Some pamphlets from a group calling itself Kaos Nativo Orquestal were left outside the church, investigators said.

The bomb was similar to those used in previous attacks in Temuco and Santiago that were blamed on anarchist groups.

More than two dozen bombings have been staged in Chile in the past few years.

Responsibility for the blasts is usually claimed by anarchists or anti-globalization groups, some of them linked to Chile’s disgruntled Mapuche Indians.

A member of one of the anarchist groups linked by authorities to the attacks died in mid-2009 in Santiago when the bomb he was carrying in a backpack exploded while he was riding a bicycle.

A special prosecutor is investigating the bombings, which occur periodically.

The detonator on a bomb planted at the Regional Justice Secretariat in Temuco failed on New Year’s Eve.

Asel Luzarraga, a Spanish writer and front man of an anarchist punk group, was arrested in connection with the failed bombing.

Luzarraga participated in protests supporting Mapuche land claims in the region.

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Category: Church Security