SANTIAGO (Reuters) - A homemade device exploded in the Chilean capital early on Thursday and one man was killed, police said, the latest in a string of mostly low-level bombings that have usually been blamed on anarchists.
The 29-year-old man, who police said had been identified from his fingerprints, died of severe burns and head trauma after the device exploded in the street in the central Santiago neighborhood of Yungay.
Police said the man died at hospital. Authorities said they could not confirm whether he had been the person to place the device or just a passerby.
Earlier this month, 14 people were wounded when a bomb exploded near a metro station, the country’s worst such attack since the return to democracy in 1990. Two people have since been arrested and are being held, and a third is under house arrest while prosecutors continue their investigation.
The man killed on Thursday “appears to have been manipulating an explosive homemade device, and in that moment, it exploded,” said prosecutor Claudio Orellana.
The explosion, which happened at around 1 a.m. local time (0400 GMT), alarmed local residents. Police, who are on high alert after the recent attacks, cordoned off the area as they searched for other possible devices.
“Chileans want to live in peace and tranquility. There is no room in Chile for the placing of bombs or for terrorist activity,” said government spokesman Alvaro Elizalde.
Reporting by Antonio de la Jara; writing by Rosalba O'Brien and Anthony Esposito, editing by G Crosse