FARC claims responsibility for bomb attack in west and helicopter crash in northern Colombia

Posted on Jan 24 2014 - 12:15pm by Rico
Attack

The FARC High Command is claiming responsibility for a pair of high-profile attacks that occurred in the west and north of Colombia during the past two weeks.

Despite initial allegations that the FARC were responsible for a bombing and helicopter crash, the country’s oldest rebel group hadn’t officially acknowledged its involvement until recently.

Padera bomb attack

The FARC delegation to ongoing peace talks with the Colombian government released a statement Tuesday, admitting the rebel group did indeed plant the motorcycle bomb that left one dead and 56 injured in the western city of Padera on January 16.

MORE: 1 killed, more than 30 injured in alleged FARC bombing in western Colombia

After having “investigated” the incident, the FARC delegation attributed the attack to members of the Mobile Block Arturo Ruiz, one of the FARC’s elite units active in the western state of Valle de Cauca.

The rebel group’s leaders “never had the intention to cause injury to non-combatant civilians” and announced “disciplinary measures” for the units responsible for the attack, according to the peace delegation’s notification.

The incident came just one day after the FARC ended a month-long unilateral ceasefire and was condemned by Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos as a “vile act of terrorism.”

MORE: Santos: Pradera bombing a ‘vile act of terrorism’

 Helicopter crash

On Friday, wanted FARC Commander alias “Timochenko” claimed that a fatal helicopter crash in northeast Colombia was the result of a joint military effort by the country’s most prominent rebel groups, the FARC and ELN, according to the El Colombiano newspaper.

The helicopter, a military vehicle, went down on January 9, in the town of Anori, Antioquia, leading to the deaths of five National Army soldiers.

MORE: Helicopter crashes in northern Colombia: 5 presumed dead

Colombia’s former President Alavaro Uribe was the first to accuse the FARC as the ones responsible for the incident. He claimed last week that a rebel attack had caused the crash, and not an accident, as had been originally claimed.

MORE: Uribe: FARC responsible for helicopter crash

Despite Timochenko’s announcement, the military are still investigating the incident, and haven’t ruled out technical or human failure as a possible cause of the accident, El Colombiano reported.

Sources

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