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One of the victims suffered injuries to his hands and face.
Unknown terrorists have carried out a series of attacks on media organizations in Ecuador. At least five journalists were mailed USB flash drives containing explosives, CBS News reported.
At least one casualty is known at this time, the journalist L. Artieda of the Ecuavisa television channel. While in the city of Guayaquil, he received an envelope with a flash drive. After he inserted the USB drive into his computer, the device exploded. The journalist suffered minor injuries to his hands and face and his life is not in danger.
According to Ecuadorian police officials, the flash drive contained a 5-volt explosive charge, presumably hexogen (used by the military as a detonator charge). This substance comes in capsules about 1 cm in size, and therefore it is quite easy to place in a compact flash drive. However, in this case, only half of the charge went off, which probably saved him from more serious injuries.
In addition to Artieda, radio host A. Rosero and reporter M. Perez also received USB flash drives containing explosives. In both cases, the explosive device did not go off. The police also intercepted an envelope intended for journalist C. Vera and initiated a “controlled explosion” on a USB flash drive intended for television journalist M. Ayore.
An Ecuadorian nonprofit media rights organization Fundamedios said Rosero received an envelope containing the flash drive on March 15. He handed it to a producer, who plugged it into his computer with an adapter cable. However, the flash drive did not explode. Police determined that there was an explosive in the drive, but the charge did not go off because there was not enough charge in the adapter to activate it.
Who was behind the series of terrorist attacks?
Ecuadorian police are currently investigating the series of incidents. It is not yet known who exactly sent the explosive devices. From the information available, it is clear that the letters were sent from the city of Quinsaloma and that the sender is allegedly the same since all the USB devices were of the same type.
Some of the envelopes also contained letters. One contained threats to Artieda and another contained remarks against an Ecuadorian political group “Correismo”. According to the country’s interior minister, J. Zapata, the terrorists wanted to silence the journalists.