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Colombia bomb blast kills two, injures more than 30

02 november 2012, 11:52
0
©AFP
©AFP
A bomb exploded near a town square in southwestern Colombia packed with dozens of children celebrating Halloween, killing two suspects and injuring more than 30, AFP reports citing officials.

Among those wounded in Pradera in the attack blamed on the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) were 14 children, including two boys aged seven and 11 taken to hospital in critical condition with head injuries.

The attack comes as negotiators representing the Colombian government and the FARC are engaged in peace talks aimed at ending their nearly five-decade conflict, which has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives.

The government had insisted the talks move forward without an official ceasefire to prevent the guerrillas from regrouping, as they did during the failed previous round of peace talks a decade ago.

But after the latest bombing, Vice President Angelino Garzon issued a government "demand that the FARC stop attacking civilians."

"It can't be allowed to put an end to the happiness and peace of people who are going out to celebrate with their family and that little boys and little girls continue to be victims of such atrocities," he said in a statement.

The bomb appears to have exploded prematurely. The attackers, who were carrying the bomb while riding on a bicycle, had targeted a nearby police station or local officials who were protesting in the central square, said Mayor Adolfo Escobar.

Several houses were damaged.

Police attributed the attack to groups supporting the communist FARC guerrillas operating in Colombian cities and towns.

These collaborators are "being used to place explosive devices and cause deaths," said national police chief General Jose Roberto Leon.

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