Thursday, June 8, 2023

Bomb attacks in Colombian city target police

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Police investigators check the site where a bomb exploded in Barranquilla, Colombia on January 27, 2018. At least three police officers were killed Saturday when alleged drug traffickers detonated a remote-controlled bomb at a police station in the northern Colombian city of Barranquilla, officials said.JOSE TORRES / AFP

Unidentified assailants attacked a police station with explosives in the Colombian city of Barranquilla early Sunday, less than a day after a similar bombing killed five police officers, authorities said.

An official said four police officers and a civilian were injured in the latest attack.”A possible link to yesterday’s attack is being investigated,” the official said.

The mayor of Barranquilla, Alejandro Char, had attributed Saturday’s bomb attack to retaliation against police by drug trafficking gangs.

That bomb exploded as police were assembling for their morning formation, killing five police officers and injuring 41.

It was one of the deadliest on security personnel in recent years, casting a pall over preparations for the annual carnival, a major attraction in the bustling Caribbean port city.

Security is stepped up

President Juan Manuel Santos ordered security in the city to be stepped up with an additional 1,500 police.Santos has been working to end a more than 50-year-old conflict that has involved leftist guerrilla groups, paramilitary death squads and drug traffickers.

“We will not rest until we find those responsible, my solidarity is with the families of the victims and the wounded,” Santos wrote on his Twitter account.

Rodrigo Londono, the former leader of the FARC guerrilla group and now its candidate in presidential elections this year, also “vehemently” condemned the Barranquilla attack.

“All our solidarity is for the relatives of the slain police,” he wrote on Twitter.

Santos reached a historic peace agreement with the FARC formerly known as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia — in November 2016. That led to the rebels’ disarmament and transformation into a political party.

The president, who is set to step down in August, is hoping to reach a similar agreement with the smaller National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrillas.

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