Rebels Attack Colombian Village as President Arrives
BOGOTA, Colombia – Suspected rebels attacked a village in northwest Colombia as President Alvaro Uribe (search) arrived in a helicopter Sunday, the president's spokesman said. No injuries were reported.
Uribe immediately flew out of the village of Granada in Antioquia (search) state, returning to a military base in nearby Rionegro, said his spokesman, Ricardo Galan.
After authorities regained control in Granada (search), Uribe returned there for his planned event — to hand over new homes and businesses to victims of a December 2000 rebel attack that devastated the town's infrastructure and killed at least 29 residents.
A nurse's aide at the Granada hospital said she heard gunshots and an explosion as the president's entourage arrived. Once Uribe returned, though, she said things were calm.
"Everything is back to normal now," said the woman, who spoke in a telephone interview on condition of anonymity.
More details on Sunday's attack were not immediately available. Members of the nation's largest rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (search), or FARC, operate in the region, Galan said.
Earlier Sunday, Uribe said nearly 150 FARC rebels were captured during police operations in northern Colombia.
Some 400 FARC rebels used a car bomb and other explosives in the December 2000 attack in Granada, 125 miles northwest of Bogota, the capital. At least three police officers were among those killed.