Far-right blamed for Bogota bomb

2010-08-16 16:08

Caracas - Colombia's visiting head of Congress, Armando Benedetti, blamed last week’s car bombing in Bogota on far-right radicals, in an interview with Telesur regional television.

No group has claimed responsibility for the pre-dawn blast on August 12.

The bomb injured nine people, damaged hundreds of buildings in central Bogota and came only four days after conservative President Juan Manuel Santos was sworn into office.

"On a personal level, I believe it was carried out by forces of the extreme right," Benedetti told the Caracas-based Latin American television station.

"It was a message they wanted to send to the new president. It's hard to come out with a hypothesis, but this is mine," the Colombian lawmaker said.

After the blast, five people, who were arrested in early August for transporting almost 200kg of a similar explosive found in the mangled car, were brought in again for questioning, Colombian justice officials said.

Benedetti was in Caracas for weekend talks with Venezuelan officials on normalising relations between the neighbours, after diplomatic links were re-established on August 10.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez broke off relations with Bogota last month, after former president Alvaro Uribe accused Venezuela of harbouring hundreds of leftist rebels from Colombia, which Chavez strongly denied.

Benedetti told Telesur he was scheduled to meet with Chavez on Monday.