Bodies were seen flying after a fire extinguisher filled with gunpowder exploded in a trash can Monday in an underground shopping area connected to a subway station in Santiago, Chile. The blast injured at least 14 people. This year, 29 bombing or attempted bombings have taken place in Chile’s capital, but this is the first time an explosion has resulted in physical injury, including a cleaning lady who lost a finger.
"We're going to use the full force of justice, including invoking the anti-terrorist law," President Michelle Bachelet said Monday, according to the Associated Press. Chile’s 17-year-long dictatorship left behind strict anti-terrorism laws, which means the government can tap phone lines without warrants, use secret witnesses in court and hold suspects indefinitely without charges.
No group has claimed responsibility for Monday’s attack, which took place at a subway stop closest to the country’s main military academy three days before the 41st anniversary of the U.S.-supported Chilean military coup that booted socialist President Salvador Allende and welcomed in the bloody dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet.
Chilean society remains divided over Pinochet, and the anniversary of the coup often leads to protests and sometimes clashes. Last year, an anarchist groups planted bombs, in one case demanding the release of two Chileans accused of detonating a bomb in a cathedral in Zaragoza, Spain, last year. The fire extinguisher device used Monday is similar to others used this year.