BOGOTA, May 15 -- Colombia's former Interior Minister FernandoLondono is in stable condition and his recovery looks goodfollowing an attempt on his life early Tuesday, a hospital officialsaid. Jorge Alberto Ospina, director of Clinica del Country, the hospitalwhere Londono was taken to, said the injuries that requiredemergency care were under control. Londono, who was minister of the interior and justice from 2002 to2004 during the administration of hardline President Alvaro Uribe,was hurt in an explosion that killed at least two people andinjured as many as 39, according to amended figures from thenational police. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos was the first to publiclyannounce the attack, saying Londono was "the target of anassassination attempt" while driving his armored car through thecapital's financial district. The blast, believed to be caused by a car bomb, killed two membersof his security team. |
Colombian television broadcast images at midday of Londono walkingaway from his badly mangled vehicle, helped by his bodyguards. Hishead was bleeding, and blood ran down his shirt and tie. Three of the injured were undergoing surgery, the hospital directorsaid. President Santos visited Londono, 78, at the hospital, and said theex-minister was stable and in good health, but deeply affected bythe attack and the death of his two bodyguards. He also called on Colombians to unite in the face of what he calledan act of "terrorism." Meanwhile, Bogota Mayor Gustavo Petro offered a 100 million pesos(about 50,000 U.S.
dollars) reward for information leading to theapprehension of those responsible. Colombian Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon said intelligenceagencies and top military commanders were investigating the attack. "We will have to study, analyze and try to identify theintellectual and material authors" of the attack, he said. Santos, Petro and Pinzon are scheduled to hold a meeting in thenext few hours to discuss the security situation in the city andthe possibility of more explosions.
Bogota last suffered a car bomb attack in August 2010, two daysafter Santos took office.
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