Massacres, bombings by Colombia’s armed groups leaves at least 30 dead
BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) – A wave of bombings and massacres by guerrillas and paramilitary militias in Colombia over the weekend killed at least 30 people, including five children, authorities said Sunday.
In northwestern Colombia, a bomb hidden inside a hot dog cart exploded and ripped through an apartment building where several police families lived, killing five people including a 9-month-old boy, said police Col. Guillermo Aranda. Two people were injured in the blast.
Police blamed the attack in the town of Penol, 130 miles northwest of the capital, on Colombia’s second-largest guerrilla group, the National Liberation Army. The rebel group has not commented on the attack.
In one of the worst attacks, paramilitary gunmen late Saturday shot and killed 10 peasants in the town of Alejandria in Antioquia province, 117 miles northwest of Bogota. It accused them of collaborating with the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, the country’s largest guerrilla group, army spokesman Capt. Luis Hernandez said.
The army on Sunday accused the FARC, who are waging a 37-year war against the government, of three attacks over the weekend.
In northern La Guajira province, FARC rebels bombed a gas pipeline Sunday, killing four brothers, aged 5 to 9, and injuring 11 others, the army said. FARC fighters also killed five men and a woman late Saturday in the village of El Habra in the same province, the army said.
In the southwestern province of Valle del Cauca, the army said rebels dragged four men and a woman from their car on Sunday, then shot and killed them.
The violence came as the government and FARC rebels appear farther apart than ever in negotiations aimed at ending a war that claims about 3,500 lives a year.
Talks stalled last week when the two sides questioned each other’s sincerity. The peace process began nearly three years ago but has failed to achieve substantial breakthroughs.
Meanwhile, representatives of 10 countries assisting negotiations between Colombia’s government and the FARC urged both sides on Saturday to commit themselves to the peace process.
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