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|Sunday, June 17, 2001, updated at 11:18(GMT+8)|
At Least 16 Injured in Car Bomb Blast in ColombiaAt least 16 people were injured when a car bomb exploded early June 15 morning in Meta state, southeast Colombia, raising the alarm again about terrorist attacks after devastating explosions in May, police said.
No one was killed in the explosion which also caused enormous material damage in the municipality of San Martin, Meta.
The injured included 15 civilians and one policeman. Police said the car containing 100 kilograms of dynamite was parked close to the San Martin police station.
The blast caused damage to many public buildings, the police station, two schools, some artistic and cultural buildings as well as the local mayor's office and about 100 houses.
A witness said two men parked the car in a street near the police station, and abandoned it shortly before the bomb went off.
San Martin is a small municipality located on a plain in southeast Colombia, well-known for its livestock, which has markedly diminished in recent years because of the rebel and paramilitary violence.
Later in the day, another car bomb exploded in the city of Barrancas, on the north coast of Colombia. The blast hurt no one, but also caused considerable material damage, according to mayor of the city Juan F. Gomez.
The official said the vehicle loaded with explosives was abandoned late on Thursday and was detonated through remote control.
"It was quite a strong explosion, which fortunately left no casualties, but caused enormous damage to nearby buildings," Gomez told local reporters.
Authorities said there was lack of enough evidence to hold any leftist guerrilla groups responsible for the car bomb explosions. But police noted that the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia ( FARC) as well as the far-right paramilitary militias have been operating around the regions.
The two explosions have reminded Colombians of the May terrorist attacks in other Colombian cities which left 12 dead and 200 injured. And people are worried that they could cast a shadow over the celebration of the forthcoming America Soccer Cup in Colombia.
However, authorities insisted that none of these attacks was targeted at the sports event to be hosted by seven Colombian cities from July 11 to 29.
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