Bomb Disguised As USB Drive Detonates In Ecuadorian Newsroom, Injuring TV Presenter: Reports

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Matt Buckley Contributor
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An Ecuadorian television presenter was wounded after a bomb disguised as a USB stick exploded in a Guayaquil, Ecuador, newsroom, according to multiple reports.

The incident allegedly occurred in the Ecuavisa TV newsroom, where television presenter Lenin Artieda suffered minor injuries after he inserted the USB drive into his computer and the small device subsequently detonated, The Guardian reported Tuesday.

Journalists at several other unnamed news outlets have recently received ominous envelopes containing explosive devices, according to the outlet. The Ecuador Attorney General’s office announced Monday that a terrorism investigation into the letters had officially been set in motion. (RELATED: Magnitude 6.8 Earthquake Rocks Ecuador, Leaves Death And Destruction)

“It’s a military-type explosive, but very small capsules,” Xavier Chango, who leads the national head of forensic science, told The Guardian.

The country’s government publicly condemned the attacks in a statement. “Any attempt to intimidate journalism and freedom of expression is a loathsome action that should be punished with all the rigor of justice,” the statement reads, according to the outlet.

Other devices allegedly sent to different outlets failed to detonate or never got opened, the BBC reported. Police performed a controlled detonation of one device that had been sent to TC Television, prosecutors told the outlet.

Ecuador is experiencing a tempestuous time marked by an increase in violence across the country. Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso has said the rise in violent crime is a result of competition between drug cartels fighting for territorial control, The Guardian reported.