Originally published on December 8, 2013
The Colombian government is blaming FARC rebels for a deadly bomb attack in the south-western state of Cauca on Saturday morning. Eight people were killed, including five military officers, one police officer, and two civilians. An explosives laden car was planted in front of the police office and detonated. The attackers also used homemade mortars or rockets according to local reports. The roof of the police station collapsed and 20 people were injured in addition to the eight killed. Military sources told Reuters rebel fighters from the FARC, or Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, launched hand-made missiles into the army and police base in the municipality of Inza in Cauca province, a region known for a strong guerrilla presence.
"We condemn and repudiate this cowardly attack in Inza," President Juan Manuel Santos wrote on Twitter, adding that he would travel to the area to hold a meeting about security.
Santos initiated peace talks with the FARC in Cuba late last year, a decision that has won cautious support from Colombians desperate for peace after five decades of war while angering those who fear FARC leaders will never face punishment.
Santos announced last month he would run in presidential elections next May, a campaign which will pit him against economist Oscar Ivan Zuluaga, who advocates defeating the FARC militarily rather compromising with "terrorists."
The government has vowed to keep pursuing the FARC militarily even as peace talks advance to keep pressure on them, while the FARC in turn continued attacks against government troops.
It has also blown up oil pipelines with increasing frequency in the last few months to protest an industry whose wealth it says does not benefit the population enough.
Colombia's five-decade old guerrilla war, led by the FARC and its smaller counterpart, the National Liberation Army or ELN, has left more than 200,000 dead.
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