BOGOTA – Two boys – ages 12 and 13 – died in an explosion when they threw a bomb at a police facility in the rural part of the municipality of Tumaco, on Colombia’s Pacific coast, authorities reported Thursday.
Several police officers were wounded in the Wednesday attack.
The police commander in Nariño province, where Tumaco is located, Col. Hugo Henry Marquez, told the daily El Tiempo that the two boys staged the attack at the behest of the Daniel Aldana Mobile Column, a unit of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas that has been very active in recent months in the area.
The boys were identified as Luis Sebastian Preciado, who died in the explosion as a result of the blast wave and shrapnel wounds, and Angelo Cabezas Pierre, who – police said – actually threw the bomb and died on Wednesday night in Tumaco’s San Vicente Hospital.
Eight police officers were wounded in the attack, according to the force.
The conservative candidate for Colombia’s presidency, Marta Lucia Ramirez, criticized the government for not insisting in its ongoing peace talks with the FARC that the rebels end the recruitment of children.
Those talks are under way in Cuba, and Ramirez said that the guerrillas’ negotiators “are on a beach in Varadero” while sending children to “die as human bombs.”