Car Bomb Targets Colombian Soldiers

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A car bomb exploded as two military trucks passed by in a working-class district of the Colombian capital on Monday, killing a civilian and wounding at least 10 soldiers, authorities said.

A white Mazda packed with 33 to 44 pounds of explosives as the first of two wood-paneled, canvas-topped trucks carrying some 50 soldiers drove by, said Gen. Luis Gomez Heredia, commander of the metropolitan police.

Gomez Heredia said three of the 10 injured were severely wounded.

The dead civilian had been riding past on a bicycle when the bomb exploded, at the end of morning rush hour, next to a park where no one was reported injured.

Windows were blown out more than a block away.

CountryWatch: Colombia

It was the first deadly bombing in Bogota since April 7, when a child was killed and 20 people wounded when a bomb went off in a bus.

Colombia's military and police have been on high alert for possible attacks ahead of President Alvaro Uribe's inauguration for a second term Aug. 8.

Four years ago, when Uribe first was elected president, the country's largest rebel group — the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC — launched a series of bombings that killed 21 people.

Although the government is at war with rebels in the countryside, attacks in the capital have been rare since 2003, when a car bomb in an exclusive social club killed 36 people.

Authorities offered a reward of US$400,000 for information on those responsible for the attack.