Three women are dead and several people are injured after an explosion shook a shopping mall in Bogotá, Colombia on Saturday, June 17.
Bogotá mayor Enrique Peñalosa confirmed the casualties at Centro Andino Mall and called the explosion a “cowardly terrorist attack”.
The first fatality to be confirmed was 23-year-old French national Julie Huynh, a woman who had been volunteering in a school in Colombia.
The other two women killed were 31-year-old Leidy Paola Jaimes Valle and 27-year-old Ana María Gutiérrez who died after being transported to a hospital. Both were from Colombia.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said he instructed General Jorge Nieto of the National Police of Colombia to start an investigation of the incident.
Frente a los hechos en el CC Andino, ordené al @GeneralNietoR dirigir investigación y mantenerme al tanto. Mi solidaridad con las víctimas.
— Juan Manuel Santos (@JuanManSantos) June 17, 2017
The Attorney General’s office also confirmed a counterterrorism prosecutor will investigate the explosion.
Fiscal antiterrorismo asumió investigación por explosión en centro comercial del norte de #Bogotá
— Fiscalía Colombia (@FiscaliaCol) June 18, 2017
The National Police of Colombia announced a reward of 100 million pesos ($5.6 million USD) for information leading to those responsible for the attack.
No claim of responsibility
No one has claimed responsibility for the explosion.
Both the Colombian National Liberation Army (ELN) and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) denied they were involved.
FARC and the Colombian government signed a historic peace agreement in 2016 and FARC will be giving up the rest of its weapons on Tuesday, June 20.
FARC leader Rodrigo Londoño, also known as Timoshenko, said on Twitter that the attack “can only come from those who want to close the paths of peace and reconciliation”.
The government has been in the process of peace talks with ELN since February. A spokesperson for ELN condemned the attack.
— Noticias RCN (@NoticiasRCN) June 18, 2017
The UN office in Colombia issued a statement Monday condemning the attack.