5 Killed in Car Bombing at Police Academy in Bogota, Mayor Says

(BOTOGA, Colombia) — At least five people were killed and another 10 injured in a car bombing at a police academy in Colombia’s capital on Thursday, authorities said.

The scene outside the General Santander police academy in southern Bogota was chaotic, with ambulances and helicopters rushing to the normally tightly controlled facility.

Witnesses said they heard a loud explosion that destroyed windows in adjacent apartment buildings. Pictures on social media showed a charred vehicle surrounded by debris on the academy’s campus.

Bogota Mayor Enrique Penalosa said at least 5 people were killed and 10 injured.

President Ivan Duque, who was visiting a western state, was rushing back to the capital to oversee police operations.

For decades, residents of Bogota lived in fear of being caught in a bombing by leftist rebels or Pablo Escobar’s Medellin drug cartel. But as Colombia’s conflict has wound down, and the nation’s largest rebel group disarmed under a 2016 peace deal, security has improved and attacks have become less frequent.

While authorities had yet to suggest who was behind the attack, attention was focused on leftist rebels from the National Liberation Army, which has been stepping up attacks on police targets in Colombia amid a standoff with the conservative Duque over how to re-start stalled peace talks.

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