Gunfire and a subsequent explosion has left at least five people dead, 15 injured and several others missing, as well as damaging homes, in the Ecuadorian port city of Guayaquil.
Ecuador’s Prosecutor’s Office said its agents were gathering evidence to establish the cause and motive for the attack in the Cristo del Consuelo neighbourhood.
Interior minister Patricio Carrillo tweeted that organised crime in Ecuador is now attacking with explosives.
Sunday’s violence “is a declaration of war against the state. Either we unite to face it or the price will be even higher for society”, he said.
Guayaquil, 168 miles south west of the capital Quito, has seen frequent shootings and killings by members of rival gangs believed to have links to national and international drug trafficking.
Dozens were killed last year in massacres inside the largest state prison in the city.