Death toll rises to 3 in blast at Colombia mall

A robust explosion from a bomb rocked one of many busiest buying facilities in Colombia’s capital Saturday, killing three individuals, together with a 23-yr-previous French lady, and injuring 9 others, authorities stated.

Witnesses informed of being evacuated from film theaters and shops after the blast in a second-flooring ladies’s restroom on the upscale Centro Andino within the coronary heart of Bogota’s vacationer district. Ambulances and firetrucks rushed to the scene and the injured have been taken to a hospital, the place two later died.

Police stated a bomb from an undetermined explosive had induced the destruction. Mayor Enrique Penalosa referred to as it a “cowardly terrorist bombing.”

He stated the French sufferer, recognized as Julie Huynh, had been in Colombia the previous six months volunteering in a poor neighborhood and was getting ready to return to France within the coming days. He stated authorities have been offering help to the sufferer’s mom, who was additionally in Bogota.

Authorities’ consideration instantly targeted on the nation’s largest nonetheless lively insurgent group, the Nationwide Liberation Military, or ELN, which in February claimed duty for a bombing close to Bogota’s bullring that killed one police officer and injured 20 different individuals.

Penalosa urged residents of Bogota’s wealthier districts to be on excessive alert however cautioned that there was no trace of different assaults being deliberate. Police stated they have been nonetheless making an attempt to find out what the system that exploded was made from.

The federal government final yr reached a peace cope with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, which was a lot greater than the ELN. The ELN can also be engaged in peace talks however has to date refused for its fighters to put down their weapons. Some analysts attribute an uptick in violence in Colombian cities to the group’s want to wrest concessions from the federal government on the negotiating desk.

Bogota has seen dramatic enchancment in safety over the previous decade because the nation’s lengthy-operating battle has wound down. However the capital stays weak to assaults as residents let down their guard

Nonetheless, the Andino purchasing middle would appear a troublesome goal. All automobiles getting into the parking storage are screened by bomb-sniffing canine and safety guards are current all through the mall.

President Juan Manuel Santos stated he was returning instantly to Bogota and ordered the top of Colombia’s police to steer the investigation and maintain him often up to date. In a message posted on Twitter he expressed his solidarity with the…

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