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Car bomb explodes outside Caracol Radio offices

(FLIP/IFEX) - At 5:30 a.m. on 12 August 2010, a car bomb exploded outside the offices of the national radio station Caracol Radio, in the northern part of Bogotá. Several people were injured in the attack. Authorities have not yet found the people responsible for the incident. Caracol is one of the most important broadcasters in the country; all of its programming is transmitted from the Bogotá office and the EFE news wire agency has its offices on the third floor of the building.

A grey car filled with 50 kg of an ammonium nitrate and fuel oil explosive was left outside the Caracol Radio building. The windows of the building and surrounding businesses were shattered.

There are reports of nine passersby and bus passengers being injured by shards from the explosion. Caracol journalists in the office broadcasting morning news were not injured. The station's security team decided to move Darío Arismendi, director of the "6 am hoy por hoy" programme from the building and take him to another part of the city.

"Those who think this attack is going to silence us are very wrong. This was, without doubt, an attack on the freedom of the press and the work done by Caracol Radio," said Arismendi.

President Juan Manuel Santos said that this attack was a terrorist attack meant to intimidate the population, and that his government was not going to let its guard down in terms of security. He also confirmed that authorities were investigating the origin and those responsible for the attack. He expressed his support for the station and asked its journalists to continue to "inform the public and not to play along with the terrorists".

The Bogotá police chief, César Augusto Pinzón, said it was too early to identify who was responsible for the attack. Bogotá Mayor Samuel Moreno Rojas also offered his support for the Caracol journalists.

FLIP condemns this attack and all forms of terrorism, calls on police to secure the safety of Caracol journalists and urges the federal government to investigate the explosion.

(Please note this is an abridged translation.)
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