Powered by

Ecuador journalists receive explosive-fitted envelopes, one injured

At least five news houses receive electronic devices fitted with explosives

USB bomb Representational image

An Ecuador journalist suffered injuries after he connected to a computer a USB device reportedly fitted with explosives in the newsroom. According to reports, at least five news outlets received similar envelopes.

Journalists at various news outlets in Ecuador have been sent envelopes containing electronic devices fitted with explosives, Reuters reported. The attorney general's office said it has opened a terrorism investigation into the incidents.

“The envelopes sent to journalists had similar characteristics and the same contents and so would be investigated jointly,” Reuters reported quoting a statement from the attorney general's office. The statement did not name the news outlets affected.

One of the devices partly exploded at Ecuavisa television in Guayaquil. BBC reported the channel presenter Lenin Artieda was injured when he opened the envelope in the middle of the newsroom. The journalist told the publication that the explosive looked like a USB device and it detonated after he plugged it into his computer. Artieda suffered minor injuries. 

"It's a military-type explosive, but very small capsules," Reuters quoted Xavier Chango, the national head of forensic science, saying referring to the explosive sent to Ecuavisa.

The Ecuador police detonated in a controlled environment a device sent to the news department of TC Television in Guayaquil. Regional freedom of expression advocacy group Fundamedios said a third television station and radio outlet in Quito had also received envelopes with explosives, the publication reported.

The government said in a statement, “Any attempt to intimidate journalism and freedom of expression is a loathsome action that should be punished with all the rigour of justice." 

Similarly, Reuters reported that an anonymous envelope was sent to a journalist of television channel Teleamazonas on Thursday and upon opening it, they discovered a device, which the police confirmed contained explosives.


📣 The Week is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@TheWeekmagazine) and stay updated with the latest headlines