A seven-year-old boy died and four other children were wounded in the explosion of a motorcycle bomb in a remote rural locality of the department of Cauca, in southwestern Colombia, local authorities announced.
The incident took place in El Plateado, a town in the municipality of Argelia (Cauca), departmental Governor Temístocles Ortega announced to the press, specifying that the motorcycle bomb exploded on a soccer field where a number of children were present.
Of the four children wounded, a girl is in serious condition, the governor noted, explaining that the explosion occurred shortly after a helicopter made an emergency landing on the soccer field.
“Around five in the afternoon (10 p.m. GMT), a motorcycle bomb went off next to the helicopter, causing the death of a boy who was playing in the area and wounding four other children,” the governor said.
For his part, Colonel Ricardo Alarcón, the commander of the Cauca police, confirmed the incident to AFP by phone, but declined to name a suspect.
“We still don’t know (who was responsible), but Front 60 of the FARC (the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, a communist guerrilla group) is in that area,” he said, after noting that the Army has already been dispatched to the area.
The explosion of the motorcycle bomb occurred amid persistent FARC harassment of the town of Toribío, also in Cauca, over the last three days, leading President Juan Manuel Santos to announce that he will preside over a security council in that town on Wednesday.
The harassment forced dozens of inhabitants of Toribío to abandon the urban area of the locality and hide in the countryside.
The attacks with cylinders of gas loaded with explosives – like homemade mortars – and rifle fire have left several people wounded in the town and a number of residences destroyed or partially destroyed.
The FARC is Colombia’s leading guerrilla group, with 48 years of bloody armed struggle against the state, and currently has around 9,200 fighters, according to the Defense Ministry.