- Putin declares Sochi Paralympics open amid Ukrainian protest
- ‘In Jesus name, we pray’ sparks ire at Ohio council meeting
- Navy’s first laser weapon ready for prime time; drone killer to deploy this summer
- Billionaire backer: Rick Santorum ‘needs to be heard’ in 2016
- Obamacare fallout: 49 percent pessimistic; 45 percent ‘scared’
- DHS accused of holding U.S. citizen at airport, using emails to pry into her sex life
- Seattle socialist: Minimum-wage discussion skewed by ‘right-wing’ GAO analysis
- U.N. warns of Muslim ‘cleansing’ in Central African Republic
- Senate blocks change to military sex assault cases
- Drug mix may have cured child born with HIV, doctors say
2 dead in Bogota bombing targeting former minister
BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — A midday bombing that killed two bodyguards of an archconservative former interior minister and injured at least 39 people in a busy commercial district of Bogota has raised fears that violence not seen in the Colombian capital in years could return.
Former Interior Minister Fernando Londono, 68, had glass shards removed from his chest and was out of danger, authorities said.
But the ex-minister’s driver and another bodyguard were killed almost instantly. Bogota Mayor Gustavo Petro said a pedestrian attached an explosive to a door of Londono’s armored SUV and set it off remotely.
Authorities said they had video of Tuesday’s attack and Petro said the culprit “walked away disguised.” A wig of long black hair and a hat were found nearby.
It was the first fatal bombing of an apparently political nature in the capital in nearly a decade and it traumatized a capital that two decades earlier was ravaged by car bombs set off by drug traffickers fighting extradition to the United States.
Speculation was widespread that the country’s main leftist rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, was to blame. But President Juan Manuel Santos said it was too early to assign blame, and announced a $277,000 reward for information leading to those responsible.
“We don’t know who is behind this attack,” he said after meeting with police and military brass, Bogota’s mayor and the chief prosecutor. The FARC was behind a car bomb, however, that was detected and deactivated elsewhere in the capital earlier Tuesday, he said.
He has also been critical of Santos for allegedly being soft on the rebels, who have stepped up attacks in recent months.
Under Uribe, Colombia's U.S.-backed military diminished the FARC by roughly half to about 9,000 fighters. Colombia’s capital became progressively safer as the conflict was pushed to less populated hinterlands.
The last major bombing in Bogota, in 2003, devastated the exclusive El Nogal social club, killing 36 people. The cocaine trade-funded FARC was blamed, as it was for a pre-dawn bombing outside a building housing Caracol radio in August 2010 that injured nine people.
The district rocked by Tuesday’s blast is packed with offices, stores, restaurants and banks, and video of the scene after the blast showed people screaming as police and firefighters assisted the wounded, some with bloodied faces.
Santos said 39 people were injured.
TWT Video Picks
By Tammy Bruce
- Bill Clinton cashes in on struggling nonprofit hospital
- Putin has transformed Russian army into a lean, mean fighting machine
- IRS to turn over Lerner emails in tea party targeting probe
- DELAY: A revolution for the Constitution
- BRUCE: Obama's bizarre immigration rules
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
- PRUDEN: Likening Putin to Hitler on Ukraine shows Hillary's shaky grasp of history
- Unemployment insurance vote could happen next week
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Border Patrol policy still permits agents to shoot at rock-throwers
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again