Truck bomb kills 8 police in Colombia
June 18, 1997
Web posted at: 10:06 a.m. EDT (1406 GMT)
BOGOTA, Colombia (CNN) -- Eight police officers were killed
and more than 10 others were injured Tuesday when a truck
bomb -- apparently triggered by remote control -- exploded as
police searched the vehicle at a Bogota police station,
Seven of the officers, including a captain, died on the spot.
Body parts were strewn across the station's parking lot.
The eighth officer died at nearby Fontibon hospital, where a
nurse told the Radionet network that the injured suffered
serious burns and some lost extremities.
The blast was so powerful it damaged sections of the police
station, destroyed nearby police vehicles and shattered
windows in neighboring homes.
"It seemed as if everything was blowing sky high," said one
man, who was in the area when the bomb went off. "The
sound was deafening and everyone was terrified."
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast.
Truck's driver detained
Bogota police chief Gen. Teodoro Ocampo said the truck's
driver was detained by police and has refused to identify
himself. He has only told authorities he was hired by an
unidentified person in Bogota to transport unknown cargo to
an area in northern Colombia.
Ocampo said he could not rule out the possibility that
leftist guerrillas were behind the attack. But he stopped
short of saying the blast targeted police because the truck
had been seized earlier in the day in Mosquera, 10 miles west
of the capital.
More than 4,600 Colombian police officers have been killed on
the job since 1990, believed to be the highest police
fatality in the world.
Deadliest blast in 4 months
Ocampo said police were unloading the truck, which
"supposedly contained contraband merchandise," when the
explosion ripped through the parking lot.
"We think the vehicle was made to explode by remote control,"
national police commander Gen. Rosso Jose Serrano told
reporters at the scene.
The blast was Colombia's most deadly explosion since a car
bomb killed seven people, including four police officers, in
the violence-plagued northern town of Apartado on February
27. Authorities blamed that blast on rebels of the
Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the nation's
largest and oldest rebel group.
Tuesday's explosion came just two days after the rebel group
released 70 soldiers it had captured in combat.
Reuters contributed to this report.
© 1997 Cable News Network, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.