Skip to main content

President: Nine die in 'terrorist' bomb blast in Colombia

By Elwyn Lopez, CNN
December 8, 2013 -- Updated 0312 GMT (1112 HKT)
Colombian soldiers walk amid rubble of a police station following a car bombing, in Inza , department of Cauca, Colombia, on December 7, 2013.
Colombian soldiers walk amid rubble of a police station following a car bombing, in Inza , department of Cauca, Colombia, on December 7, 2013.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: President calls the bombing a "terrorist" attack, offers 30 million peso award
  • NEW: "We have to continue to be on the offensive," President Santos says
  • Explosive cylinders were camouflaged by food inside a vehicle, a police official says
  • Victims included 5 soldiers, a police officer and three civilians

(CNN) -- At least nine people -- five soldiers, a police officer and three civilians -- died Saturday in what Colombia's president called a "terrorist" attack carried out by a storied rebel group.

Military authorities, national police and President Juan Manuel Santos blamed the morning attack in the nation's Cauca state on the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, known as the FARC. In addition to those killed, three soldiers, 12 police officers and 23 civilians were injured, according to the president's website.

"We have to continue to be on the offensive, not to give them a single minute of rest, not give them a single minute of truce so that they do not have the capacity to commit acts like this one," Santos said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast.

The national police website posted audio from police Maj. Gen. Jorge Nieto saying, "All (evidence) indicates that there were cylinders camouflaged by food items inside of a vehicle." Nieto added that the attack occurred when residents were preparing for a farmer's market day in the municipality of Inza.

The FARC has been at war with the South American nation's government since the 1960s, a time marked by periodic bloodshed.

Santos was first elected in 2010 on a platform of continuing an offensive against the leftist guerrillas that have been at war with the government for decades, but he instead followed a different path by pushing forward with the peace process starting last year. He announced last month that he'd seek re-election against, among others, rival Oscar Ivan Zuluaga, who has called for an end to the peace talks and is against giving a political space to the rebels.

Santos said during an awards event Thursday in Bogota that Colombia "is a country decisively seeking peace, and advances in the direction of dialogue with firmness and prudence, without neglecting security for a single second."

On Saturday, the president condemned what he called a "cowardly" act and offered a reward of up to 30 million pesos ($15,500 US) for any information leading to those responsible.

He also insisted that the Colombian government wouldn't back down in the face of these and an estimated 500 other attacks carried out this year.

Said Santos: "If the FARC believe that these acts will get us to a cease-fire,... they are wrong, they are completely wrong beginning to end."

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
September 2, 2014 -- Updated 0135 GMT (0935 HKT)
Three Americans detained in North Korea spoke out about their conditions and pleaded for U.S. help in interviews with CNN.
Hundreds of jihadis in Syria are from abroad -- which countries have the biggest problem?
September 1, 2014 -- Updated 0913 GMT (1713 HKT)
Libyan militia members have apparently turned the abandoned U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, Libya, into a water park.
September 1, 2014 -- Updated 2053 GMT (0453 HKT)
Obama's remarks that he didn't yet have a strategy for ISIS in Syria is widely criticized.
September 1, 2014 -- Updated 1126 GMT (1926 HKT)
A few miles south of the town of Starobeshevo in eastern Ukraine, a group of men in uniform is slumped under a tree.
September 2, 2014 -- Updated 0125 GMT (0925 HKT)
Beijing says only candidates approved by a nominating committee can run for Hong Kong's chief executive, prompting criticism.
August 29, 2014 -- Updated 0823 GMT (1623 HKT)
He should be toddling around a playground. Instead, his tiny hands grip an AK-47.
August 27, 2014 -- Updated 0023 GMT (0823 HKT)
Wilson Raj Perumal tells CNN how he rigged World Cup games: "I was giving orders to the coach."
August 26, 2014 -- Updated 0946 GMT (1746 HKT)
We asked you what you would like to know about Ebola. Experts answer some of your most common questions and concerns.
September 2, 2014 -- Updated 0143 GMT (0943 HKT)
In a major breach of privacy, a hacker leaked a series of pictures allegedly showing Jennifer Lawrence and other female celebrities in the nude.
Instead of weaving garments sold in the West, children should be in school
According to the International Labour Organization, there are 168 million child laborers around the world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT