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Two blasts hit Santiago, no casualties

world Updated: Dec 22, 2010 12:29 IST

AFP
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Two small bombs detonated within minutes in the Chilean capital early today, one outside a branch of a Spanish bank and the other at a police station, with no injuries reported, officials said.

The first blast occurred at about 0845 IST outside Banco Santander in downtown Santiago, breaking windows.

"Special operations were dispatched and they determined that it was an explosive device. They are working to see if there are clues as to who put it there," police chief Cristian Kutsman told local media.

A second bomb blew up minutes later at a police office building, causing damage officials told reporters.

That bomb, a TNT-laden device with an electrical triggering mechanism, went off at a branch of Banco Santander, a Spanish-owned bank.

"These acts are being investigated to determine if they were carried out by new groups, offshoot groups, or existing ones that we are already familiar with," said Chile's Interior Minister Rodrigo Hinzpeter.

More than 100 small blasts have been set off across Chile in the last five years outside financial institutions, diplomatic missions and businesses. Many have been claimed by groups aligned with former anarchists.