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Colombia explosion kills 10

From Karl Penhaul
CNN

Emergency workers gather in the street after a bomb went off near a disco in Florencia, Colombia.
Emergency workers gather in the street after a bomb went off near a disco in Florencia, Colombia.

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An explosion at a nightclub in downtown Florencia, Colombia, killed 10 people and wounded dozens of others.
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CARTEGENA DEL CHAIRA, Colombia (CNN) -- An explosion in downtown Florencia, Colombia, killed 10 people and wounded 54 others, police said Sunday.

Among the dead were two policemen and a 9-year-old boy; the other victims were civilians, police said.

Although three of the wounded are police, "It's very clear that this was an attack directed against civilians; it was not an attack on the security forces," a police spokesman said.

The bomb had been packed into a motorcycle and detonated by remote control at 2:50 a.m. (3:50 a.m. ET), police in Florencia said.

"It was horrible, it was atrocious," said Maria Julia, who asked to be identified only by her first names. Her son was hit by shrapnel in the arm and face when he emerged from a discotheque, and she walked by the bomb site a few hours later. "This morning, there were still body parts lying around the whole area."

Police said they had received no claims of responsibility, and that it was too soon to blame any particular group.

Florencia, the capital of Caqueta province, is 200 miles southwest of the capital city of Bogota and a three-hour drive from Cartagena del Chaira.

Though Florencia had long been a stronghold of rebels belonging to the country's largest left-wing rebel group -- the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, known by its Spanish acronym FARC -- the city has been under the control of rival right-wing paramilitary forces for the past two to three years.

The army said the attack bears the hallmarks of the FARC.

Police on Saturday sent a man they say they suspect of being a major paramilitary figure in the region from Florencia to a jail in Bogota.

The province is also a major center for the production of cocaine and drug trafficking.


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