SANTIAGO – A small bomb exploded early Tuesday outside a Catholic church in the southern Chilean city of Temuco, destroying the front door and shattering windows, police and press reports said.
The blast occurred at 3:05 a.m. outside the Iglesia del Buen Pastor 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.
Initial indications are that bomb was fashioned from a fire extinguisher packed with explosives.
The bomb was similar to those used in previous attacks in Temuco and Santiago that were blamed on anarchist groups.
A bomb damaged a bank branch early Saturday in the capital.
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. EFE