Pope Condemns New Attack in Colombia

18 Dead; Authorities Detected Plot to Kill President

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

VATICAN CITY, FEB. 16, 2003 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II expressed his «firm condemnation» of a bombing that left 18 dead, some of them children, in the city of Neiva in southwestern Colombia.

In a telegram sent to Bishop Ramón Darío Molina Jaramillo of that city, the Pope expressed his grief and «energetic reprobation and firm condemnation of these new acts of terrorism, which assail peaceful coexistence and offend the sentiments of the beloved Colombian people, the majority of whom are opposed to violence and horror and are lovers of peace in justice.»

In the message, sent by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican secretary of state, the Holy Father expresses «his most profound sympathy to the relatives of the deceased» and assures them of his prayers «for the rapid and complete recovery of the wounded.»

The explosion near the local airport also wounded 40 people and destroyed some 60 homes.

The tragedy occurred when authorities were searching for explosives that they said were to target the plane of Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, who was due to visit the city.

Authorities attributed the attack to the rebel Armed Revolutionary Forces of Colombia (FARC).

The tragedy took place one week after a car exploded in El Nogal, a Bogota club, leaving 35 dead and 160 wounded.

Meanwhile, FARC rebels fired at a U.S. plane that was trying to make an emergency landing in Colombia. They killed two of the occupants and disappeared into the jungle with three Americans, authorities and witnesses said Saturday. The Associated Press said the three were on an intelligence mission.

It was the first time in Colombia’s four decades of war that guerrillas kidnapped Americans working for the Colombian army.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry


Support ZENIT

If you liked this article, support ZENIT now with a donation