Jan 19, 2019 17:53 UTC
  • Iran condemns ‘inhumane’ bomb attack in Colombian capital

The Iranian Foreign Ministry has condemned as “inhumane and deplorable” a recent deadly bomb attack at a police academy in Colombia’s capital, Bogota.

Spokesman Bahram Qassemi on Saturday expressed regret over the attack, which killed at least 21 people and wounded more than 80 others on Thursday.

The Iranian official also expressed sympathy with the families of the victims of the attack, the worst in Bogota in 16 years.

The Colombian government declared three days of mourning on Thursday. 

Colombia’s Defense Ministry said the "terrorist act" was carried out using a vehicle packed with 80 kilograms of explosives.

President Ivan Duque described the attack as a "crazy terrorist act" and ordered reinforcements to Colombia's borders and routes in and out of cities "to identify the masterminds of this terrorist attack and their accomplices."

On Friday, the government blamed the National Liberation Army (ELN) Marxist guerrilla group for the bombing.

Colombia’s Defense Minister Guillermo Botero called the car bombing as a long-planned "terrorist attack committed by the ELN."

The attack is a major setback to two years of peace talks with ELN. The first round of negotiations was hosted by Ecuador and Cuba is the current host.

Following the bombing, President Duque said he was reinstating arrest warrants for 10 ELN members who are part of the group's delegation to the Cuba talks. He said he was revoking "the resolution creating the conditions that allow their stay in that country."

"The national government knows and understands that the ELN has no will for peace," Colombia's peace commissioner Miguel Ceballos told reporters earlier.

Botero said he had "full evidence" that the attacker, earlier identified as Jose Aldemar Rojas Rodriguez, 56, has been a member of the ELN for more than 25 years.