January 18, 2019 / 1:09 PM / in 6 months

Colombian ELN rebels behind Bogota car bomb attack that killed 21 - government

People take part in a candlelight vigil to honor victims, close to the scene of a car bomb explosion, in Bogota, Colombia January 17, 2019. REUTERS/Luisa Gonzalez

BOGOTA (Reuters) - Colombia’s ELN rebel group was responsible for the car bomb attack against a police academy that killed at least 21 and injured dozens, Defense Minister Guillermo Botero said on Friday.

In Thursday’s attack, which the government described as an act of terrorism, the car broke through checkpoints into the grounds of the General Santander School before it detonated, shattering windows of apartments nearby.

The National Liberation Army (ELN), made up of some 2,000 fighters and considered a terrorist organization by the United States and European Union, began peace talks with the government of former President Juan Manuel Santos February 2017 but they have been put on hold by President Ivan Duque.

Reporting by Helen Murphy; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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