Car bomb in Colombian police academy kills eight

Members of the security forces patrol around the site of an explosion on a police cadet training school in Bogota on Thursday. — AFP

BOGOTA — A car bomb exploded at a police academy in Colombia’s capital Bogota on Thursday, killing at least eight people and wounding 10 in what the authorities condemned as terrorism.

The bomb at the General Santander School in the south of the capital shattered windows of apartments in the area around the academy. The vehicle rammed into the academy grounds before the explosion, witnesses told reporters.

President Ivan Duque called the bomb a “miserable terrorist act...against our police” and said he was returning to the capital from the west of the country, where he had been attending a meeting on security.

He said he had ordered security forces to find the perpetrators and bring them to justice.

The Defense Ministry said in a statement that eight people were killed and 10 wounded, but did not say if the casualties were police or civilians.

A police helicopter hovered over the area and family members of cadets at the academy were gathered, many crying as they sought information. Ambulances were still leaving the scene.

There was no word yet on who might be behind the explosion.

Car bombs were frequent during decades of civil war between the state and various leftist rebel groups, as well as in the violence involving the Medellin drug cartel led by dead drug lord Pablo Escobar.

The worst of the war ended when the government reached a peace agreement with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in 2016.

Images on social media showed the remains of a vehicle in flames in the parking area of the police school, and emergency responders at the scene. — Reuters