Car bomb injures nine in Bogota

A car packed with at least 50kg (110lb) of explosives blew up in an office district of Colombia's capital, Bogota, yesterday, shattering windows and injuring at least nine people, police said. No deaths were reported.

The blast occurred at 5.30am local time outside a 12-storey building which houses Caracol Radio, the Spanish news agency EFE, the Ecuadorean consulate, and the offices of several politicians and banks.

General Cesar Pinzon, Bogota's police chief, suggested leftist rebels could have set off the blast, but said authorities were not sure if the bomb was aimed at the radio station or another target.

President Juan Manuel Santos hurried to the scene and branded the explosion "a terrorist act", saying it was meant to sow fear and create scepticism about the government.

"We are going to continue fighting terrorism with everything we have," said Mr Santos, who took office on Saturday. He replaced Alvaro Uribe, whose tough tactics weakened the leftist guerrilla groups that have fought the government for decades.

Mr Santos toured the blast site surrounded by security agents, and urged Colombians to go on with normal activities.

The director of technical investigations for the prosecutor's office, Marilu Mendez, said it was too early to determine the intended target of the attack. She said no arrests had been made.

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