Twenty-two people have been arrested in connection with the recent spate of bombings and journalist kidnappings on the border of Colombia and Ecuador, the Ecuadorean government has confirmed.
The latest explosion, which occurred early Wednesday in the town of Quininde in Esmeraldas province, was deliberate but no injuries or structural damage were reported, Interior Minister Cesar Navas tweeted.
The Quininde bombing was orchestrated by an Ecuadorean who goes by the name of 'El Guacho' and is allegedly trying to control the drug trade along the border, Navas said.
"Evidence was found such as detonation cords, information on phones regarding this and fuel," he tweeted on Thursday.
The latest incident is now the fifth bombing at the northern border of Ecuador since January, one of which killed three soldiers.
In a separate incident, three Ecuadorean journalists were kidnapped last week on the Colombian border, prompting public protests.
Photographer Paul Rivas Bravo, driver Efrain Segarra Abril and writer Juan Javier Ortega Reyes were kidnapped on March 26 in Esmeraldas.
The team from El Comercio newspaper was investigating the living conditions of people affected by the recent bombings and increasing insecurity in the region, believed to be orchestrated by El Guacho's Oliver Sinisterra Front.
The Oliver Sinisterra Front is described by Colombian authorities as a splinter group from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).
It's led by El Guacho, real name Walter Patricio Artizala Vernaza, and has no connection with the Revolutionary Alternative Force of the Commons (FARC) political party formed after the guerillla group's demobilization.