Colombian Soldier, U.S. Advisors Hurt By Car Bomb

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Medical workers bring an injured soldier on a stretcher in a hospital following a explosion in Cucuta, Colombia, on the border with Venezuela, on June 15, 2021. (Photo by SCHNEYDER MENDOZA/AFP via Getty Images)

By Luis Jaime Acosta

BOGOTA, Colombia, Weds. June 16 (Reuters) – A Colombian soldier was in intensive care and two U.S. military personnel sustained light injuries following a car bombing in the city of Cucuta attributed to leftist guerrillas, Colombian Defense Minister Diego Molano said on Wednesday.

The car bombing took place on Tuesday at a military base used by the 30th Army Brigade in the northeastern city, which is near the border with Venezuela.

“No one from the group of U.S. advisors who are assisting in the fight against drug-trafficking were seriously hurt,” Molano said from the base.

Of the 36 people injured, one remains in intensive care and two more are recovering from surgery, the minister said.

The U.S. military’s Southern Command confirmed in a statement all personnel were accounted for following the bombing and no one had grave injuries.

A reward of up to 500 million pesos ($135,000) is available for information leading to the capture of those behind the attack, Molano said.

The vehicle entered through the base’s main door, driven by a person who got out before it exploded twice, said Attorney General Francisco Barbosa.

The leading theory points to the National Liberation Army (ELN) rebels, said General Luis Fernando Navarro, commander of Colombia’s armed forces.

However, possible links with former FARC fighters who reject a 2016 peace deal with the government are also being explored, Barbosa added.

(Reporting by Luis Jaime Acosta Writing by Oliver Griffin Editing by Marguerita Choy)