FARC dissidents responsible for bombing that killed two children, says Colombia’s Duque

Colombian President Ivan Duque speaks after casting his vote during congressional and presidential coalitions elections that will determine which candidates will head to the first round of presidential voting, in Bogota, Colombia March 13, 2022. REUTERS/Luisa Gonzalez

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BOGOTA, March 28 (Reuters) — Colombian President Ivan Duque on Monday accused former members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) who reject a peace deal of setting off explosives at a police station which killed two children and injured 39 others in Bogota.

The Saturday night attack was the worst in the capital since another rebel group, the National Liberation Army (ELN), killed 22 police cadets with a car bomb in 2019.

«We are filled with sadness at the death of Ivanna Rangel, victim of cowardly terrorism by the FARC dissidents,» Duque said on Twitter of the 5-year-old girl, who died early on Monday of her injuries. «We will not rest until we find those responsible for this atrocious attack.»

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A 12-year-old boy, Daniel Stiven Duque, also died of injuries sustained in the explosion in a working class neighborhood in the south of the city.

Preliminary investigations indicate the attack was ordered by dissident leader John Mechas, national police director General Jorge Luis Vargas said in a video. Mechas took responsibility last year for ordering both an attack against Duque’s helicopter and a car bombing at a military base in the eastern city of Cucuta. read more

There are two groups of FARC dissidents who reject the 2016 accord with the government, which formally ended the rebels’ participation in a 60-year internal conflict.

According to security sources, the groups, who fight the government as well as each other, count a total of 2,400 combatants and are involved in drug trafficking and illegal mining.

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Reporting by Luis Jaime Acosta in Bogota
Writing by Julia Symmes Cobb
Editing by Matthew Lewis

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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