Colombian mall explosion kills 3 in possible terrorist attack
June 18 (UPI) — Three women died in an explosion at a mall in Bogota, Colombia, that authorities described as a terrorist attack.
Eleven other people were killed at the Andino shopping center in the Zona Rosa area Saturday afternoon, authorities said.
A small bomb in a women’s toilet on the second floor caused the explosion, state-run broadcaster Canal Capital reported.
The mall was filled with people buying presents for Father’s Day on Sunday when the explosion occurred around 5 p.m.
One of the fatalities was a 23-year-old French woman in Bogota doing social work at a school, Mayor Enrique Peñalosa said. Also killed were women aged 27 and 31.
“We regret dearly this cowardly terrorist bombing and we are pained by the victims,” the mayor said.
No one has claimed responsibility for the attack.
The rebel group the National Liberation Army, the second largest in the country after FARC, condemned the attack on Twitter.
President Juan Manuel Santos, who visited the mall later on Saturday night, said in a statement: “I do not want to speculate on who could be behind this attack.”
He vowed to captured those responsible for the “vile, cruel, cowardly act.”
Richard Emblin, of Canada, told BBC Mundo that he was at the movie theater when he heard a noise.
“When the film was about halfway through, there was a really loud explosion. I felt the floor move under my seat,” he said.
He fled via a back staircase a few minutes later.