Page last updated at 06:19 GMT, Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Bomb blast hits Colombian capital


Emergency services attend the blast site

At least two people have been killed by a bomb blast in the Colombian capital, Bogota, police say.

The explosion shook an upmarket neighbourhood in the north of the city early on Wednesday morning.

An explosive device was apparently placed in an automatic cash machine inside a Blockbuster video shop.

Colombia has been ravaged by a decades-long conflict involving outlawed armed groups, drug cartels and gross violations of human rights.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the explosion, and police have cordoned off the area to investigate.

Employees and customers were evacuated from the damaged video shop as the blast caused the partial collapse of the two-storey building.

Defence Minister Juan Manuel Santos said the explosion was consistent with previous attacks by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc), aimed at extorting money from local businesses.

Another Bogota branch of the US-based Blockbusters was the victim of extortion by the Marxist rebels last year, says the BBC's Sibylla Brodzinsky in Bogota.

The government has offered 55,000 for information leading to the capture of those responsible for the latest blast.

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