Interior Minister Carrillo called the explosion an "act of terrorism" and said the explosives seemed to be home-made.
On Sunday, Ecuador's President Guillermo Lasso declared this Sunday a "State of Emergency" for 30 days in Guayaquil, a coastal city in which an explosive attack in the Cristo del Consuelo neighborhood left five people dead and 17 injured.
"The entire public force will be available for restoring control of the city. We will not allow organized crime to try to run the country," he tweeted.
The National Risk and Emergency Management Service said that the explosion also destroyed eight houses and two vehicles. An investigation into the explosion has been launched and organized crime linked to drug trafficking was suspected to be behind the incident.
The motive for the attack has not yet been specified by police. According to preliminary reports, two people on a motorcycle threw a sack which is believed to contain explosives.
Presumably, the attacks were directed against two people related to "Los Tiguerones", a criminal gang linked to drug micro-trafficking and the massacres that have taken place over the last two years in several Ecuadorian prisons.
At a joint press conference, Interior Minister Patricio Carrillo called the explosion an "act of terrorism" and said the explosives seemed to be home-made, ruling out that grenades were used in the attack.
"The power of the explosive placed on the road next to a house in the Cristo del Consuelo neighborhood caused a hole 1.6 meters in diameter and 40 centimeters deep. Its blast wave reached between 60 and 70 meters," he explained.
According to Carrillo, three people were killed on the spot while the other two died in hospital. The government offered a US$10,000 reward for information about this incident.
In #Ecuador clashes between gangs leave 13 dead in Santo Domingo prison. After these events the government of Guillermo Lasso received strong criticism due to the lack of control and attention to what happens inside the prisons - #prison #Gang pic.twitter.com/2jf3NmSLlO— teleSUR English (@telesurenglish) July 20, 2022