Bogota ramps up security after FARC attack

May 16, 2012 at 8:33 AM
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BOGOTA, May 16 (UPI) -- Authorities in Colombia's capital of Bogota tightened security after a bombing directed at a former minister killed five people and wounded 39, officials said.

Gen. Luis Eduardo Martinez, chief of Bogota's police, said the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, known by the initials FARC, was thought to be behind the attack that targeted former Interior Minister Fernando Londono, Colombia Reports said.

Authorities confirmed the politician, who sustained minor injuries in Tuesday's attack, had received threats from the guerrilla group in the past because of his conservative views, his alliance with former President Alvaro Uribe and his current work as a radio host.

"We cannot say who the author is, but the former minister had threats from the FARC," said Andres Villamizar, director of the National Protection Unit, who said the threats were in communications found on computers belonging to the FARC. "[The threats] talked about a bomb being planted with magnets on the side door of the vehicle and this explains the sudden death of [Londono's] bodyguard. It is a type [of attack] we've never seen."

Hours after the attack, authorities barred passengers on motorbikes, Colombia Reports said. Residents also won't be able to use moving vans in the city without police permission. Universities and high schools in Bogota were closed until further notice.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and Bogota Mayor Gustavo Petro condemned the attack.

"Actions of hatred should not and cannot dominate Bogota," Petro said on his Twitter page.

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