Santiago — A makeshift explosive device ripped through a fast food restaurant next to a subway station in Santiago on Monday, injuring at least 10 people, the latest in a string of bomb attacks to hit Chile’s capital this year.
Hidden in a trash can, the bomb exploded during lunchtime at the restaurant, which is located in an underground shopping mall connected to the Escuela Militar metro station in Santiago’s affluent Las Condes neighborhood.
“We heard the blast and ran in fear,” Silvana Bobadilla, a waitress at a neighboring restaurant, told local television. “When I turned around I saw the heartbreaking scene: There was glass, dust and twisted metal everywhere.”
Although nobody has claimed responsibility for the bombing, past attacks have been claimed by anarchist groups. Santiago has been hit by nearly 30 bombings or attempted bombings this year.
Interior Minister Mahmud Aleuy said that security cameras had caught two suspects planting the explosive device in a metal container that looked like a trash can.
Chile’s president, Michelle Bachelet, has said the government will invoke the country’s anti-terrorism law to pursue those behind the bombing. The law, which stems from the era of Chile’s dictatorship, allows suspects to be detained in isolation without charges and permits the use of secret witnesses in investigations.
“This is a cowardly act because it has as its objective to hurt people, create fear and even kill innocent people,” President Bachelet said.
“We’re going to use all the weight of the law, including the anti-terrorist law, because those responsible for these acts have to pay,” she said.