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roadside bombs in Colombia

September 3, 2010

In Colombia, five police officers are dead and three injured as a result of a roadside bomb being attributed to the FARC. The attack took place in El Doncello, Caqueta. I knew that the FARC had used car bombs and “mortars” made out of propane tanks, but this news struck me as a technological escalation. Turns out, however, that it’s not the first time roadside bombs (aka IEDs) have been used in Colombia, ostensibly by the FARC. In May, police dug up a powerful 150lb bomb in Corinto, Cauca before it could be detonated. In March, two Cauca police officers died and five were injured during an attack that began with a roadside bomb and continued in the style of Iraqi and Afghani insurgents.

Perhaps the use of roadside bombs has gone on for some time in Colombia, but I suspect it’s a fresh development. Considering that Cauca is in the West and the latest attack, in Caqueta, was in the northeast, it also seems that the tactic may be spreading. That’s a frightening thought, in and of itself. Worse yet, it adds one more bit of circumstantial evidence to support the argument that Islamic-oriented crime organizations are making inroads within Latin America. For more on that, see COHA’s report on “FARQaeda”.

[You may need to zoom out on the map below in order to see the markers for Corinto and El Doncello.]

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