A car bomb exploded Thursday, January 17, at a police academy in Bogota, leaving at least 21 people dead and dozens injured, Colombian police reported.

Members of the security forces and rescue personnel work at the site of an explosion on a police cadet training school in Bogota on Jan. 17.

“Unfortunately, the preliminary toll is 21 people dead, including the person responsible for the incident, and 68 wounded”, the police said in a statement, adding that 58 of those injured had been discharged from hospital.

Earlier in the day, citing local police, that at least nine people were killed and 54 were injured on Thursday by a car bomb that went off in a police school in the Colombian capital of Bogota, AP news agency reported citing police.

This comes after Penalosa said earlier that five people died and ten other people were injured.

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The explosion took place early in the morning before the start of graduation ceremony and left 10 people injured.

Members of the security forces and rescue personnel work at the site of an explosion on a police cadet training school in Bogota on Jan. 17.

Earlier, witnesses had told the AP news agency said they heard a loud explosion which shattered windows in buildings in close proximity to the General Santander police academy.

Reacting to the reports, Colombian President Iván Dugue wrote on Twitter that he immediately returned to Bogota and was going to the scene. Previously, the president had plans to hold a meeting of the Security Council in Choco on Thursday.

A police officer and two women wipe their tears close to the scene where a car bomb exploded, according to authorities, in Bogota, Colombia January 17, 2019. Photo: Reuters

On Thursday afternoon President Ivan Duque announced three-day national mourning.

“To honor their memory, we have announced three-day national mourning,” Duque said in a televised address to the nation. The president also ordered to tighten security measures at the country’s border and routes leading to cities.

Duque also called on Colombians to unite against terrorism and asked them to support the investigation into the attack.

Duque said authorities had identified the perpetrator on the day of the attack and were eager to bring the people connected to the terror act to justice.

The president pledged to boost the fight against criminal gangs.

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Article originally appeared on Today Colombia and is republished here with permission.


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