Eight killed in Colombia blast blamed on FARC

AFP , Saturday 7 Dec 2013

Eight people were killed Saturday in a bombing in Colombia which was immediately blamed on leftist FARC rebels who are currently engaged in peace talks with the government.

The victims comprised two civilians and six members of the military and police, who died when a vehicle loaded with explosives blew up in the small town of Inza as locals prepared for a farmer's market, authorities said.

Seven soldiers were wounded in the early morning blast but their conditions were not immediately disclosed.

The army said in an official statement that the incident "clearly shows that the FARC continue to systematically commit acts of terrorism against civilians."

Police Commissioner Rodolfo Polomino told reporters that the attack was "further evidence of indiscriminate FARC terrorism."

As well as the two civilians, those killed included an army major, two lieutenants, a sergeant, a soldier and a police sergeant, the statement said.

The blast occurred as Bogota and the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), established in 1964, attempt to negotiate an agreement to end their near 50-year-old conflict.

Considered Latin America's longest-running insurgency, it has left hundreds of thousands of dead and displaced more than 4.5 million people.

The peace talks began more than a year ago in the Cuban capital Havana and so far the two sides have reached agreement on two of five subjects.

Inza is a small and secluded rural village located in the troubled department of Cauca, where the FARC has a strong presence.

As Colombia's largest rebel group, the FARC has 7,000 to 8,000 fighters.

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