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Chilean Judge Jails Bombing Suspects During Investigation

  • Reuters

Juan Flores, left, waves to an unidentified person in the back of the courtroom as he sits handcuffed alongside fellow suspects Guillermo Duran, top right, and Nataly Casanova during their hearing in Santiago, Chile, Sept. 23, 2014.

Juan Flores, left, waves to an unidentified person in the back of the courtroom as he sits handcuffed alongside fellow suspects Guillermo Duran, top right, and Nataly Casanova during their hearing in Santiago, Chile, Sept. 23, 2014.

A judge in Chile has ordered two suspects linked to the country's worst bomb attack in more than 20 years to be jailed for 10 months and placed a third under house arrest while police continue investigations.

The order issued on Tuesday by Judge Rene Cerda said Juan Flores and Nataly Casanova would be held in jail for 10 months and Guillermo Duran would be put under house arrest. After that, authorities would have to present any evidence before a court.

The three suspects, two men and a woman in their 20s, were arrested on Thursday in a poor neighborhood on the south side of Santiago.

President Michelle Bachelet's government has called the Sept. 8 blast that wounded 14 people in the capital Santiago's Las Condes neighborhood a "terrorist" act.

Anti-terrorism laws give prosecutors more powers and allow for harsher sentences.

"This is a compact and very tight group," said Raul Guzman, prosecutor in charge of the investigation. "They don't have contact with other anti-establishment groups."

Chile, which returned to democracy in 1990 after a 17-year dictatorship, has long been one of Latin America's most stable countries, but in recent years it has been plagued by a number of low-level attacks by anarchist groups.

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