Bomb targeting former Colombian minister kills two
By Eduardo Garcia and Luis Jaime Acosta
BOGOTA (Reuters) - In a rare attack in Colombia's capital, a bomb targeting a former interior minister tore through his car near the city's financial district on Tuesday, killing the driver and a police escort.
The Andean country has battled left-wing guerrillas, right-wing paramilitary groups and drug lords for decades, but a campaign against the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the demobilization of paramilitaries fighting them has reduced violence in recent years.
President Juan Manuel Santos condemned the car bombing, which he said had targeted former Interior Minister Fernando Londono, who was in a Bogota hospital being treated for his wounds but out of danger, according to local media.
"This government will not be thrown off course by these terrorist attacks. We will stay the course and carry out all the investigations needed to find the culprits," Santos said.
Soon after the blast, local television showed images of Londono walking from the scene of the attack with blood covering his face, flanked by an armed bodyguard.
Santos said both the victims were accompanying the former minister as part of a state protection program that is commonly provided in Colombia to well-known political figures, judges and union leaders.
Londono served as interior minister from 2002 to 2004 in the government of former President Alvaro Uribe, who led a crackdown on the FARC Marxist guerrillas and other armed groups during his eight years in office.
He has since taken up journalism, hosting a radio show and writing opinion pieces for local newspapers. Continued...