At least seventeen people were injured when on Friday evening a bomb exploded in Quibdo, a city in the west of Colombia.
The grenade went off in a grocery store located in a busy commercial area in the city, which according to Cali newspaper El Pais is frequently visited by informal miners in the region who use the local pawn shops to sell dug up gold.
According to the government secretary of Choco, the state official responsible for public safety, the grenade was thrown into the shop by two men driving a motorcycle.
According to radio station RCN, the official said the FARC’s 54th front was responsible for the attack. This rebel unit is not active in the area around Quibdo, but in the central state of Meta. Another rebel unit, the 34th front, is however active around Quibdo.
Following the blast, the injured were taken to a hospital in the city. By Saturday morning, all had been released.
Rebel attacks on private property are commonly said to be the result of botched extortion attempts.
The Choco state is located along must of Colombia’s Pacific coast and home to a number of rebel groups and drug trafficking neo-paramilitary organizations. In spite of being rich in natural resources, the state suffers Colombia’s highest poverty levels.
- Explosión en granero de Quibdó deja 17 personas heridas (El Pais)
- Al menos 17 heridos por la explosión de una granada en el departamento de Chocó (Europa Press)
- Aumentan fuerza pública en Quibdó por atentado que dejó 18 personas heridas (RCN Radio)