A jewelry store security guard in Guayaquil, Ecuador, was saved by bomb-disposal experts who deactivated a dynamite vest he had been forced to wear by a group of criminals. The security guard remained unharmed after the tense three-hour operation on Thursday.
The criminals, suspected of attempting extortion, had kidnapped the guard on Wednesday night and brought him to the jewelry store the following day.
Local media reported on the anxious guard pacing with wires and dynamite sticks strapped across his torso as traffic was disrupted in the area.
The National Police’s explosives experts provided instructions to the visibly distraught man before one of the team members, clad in a protective armor suit, successfully deactivated the device. The Intervention and Rescue Group praised the effective intervention of the anti-explosives unit, which allowed for the safe deactivation and removal of the dynamite vest.
Authorities speculate that the criminals targeted the guard after the store owners refused to comply with their demands for money. Police Chief Fausto Salinas commended the bravery and professionalism of the police officers and the anti-explosive team in disabling the explosive device in a message shared on Twitter.
Following the ordeal, the guard received treatment for shock.