Colombia Capital Hit By Car Bombing

A car bomb exploded in Colombia's capital today, wounding at least nine people and damaging buildings in what appeared to be a challenge to the country's new president, Juan Manuel Santos. The blast occurred at 5.30am outside the offices of Caracol Radio in northern Bogotá, shattering windows and tiles in about 30 buildings and raining glass onto people sleeping in their beds. Authorities said the attack, which came just days after Santos was sworn in as president, bore the hallmarks of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc), leftist guerrillas who have been battling the state for decades. Santos branded the explosion a terrorist act and urged Colombians to go about their daily business. "Their only aim is to sow fear and that they will not achieve," he told reporters at the scene. "We will continue to fight terrorism." The former defence minister has promised to maintain the tough security policies of his predecessor, Alvaro Uribe, who beefed up the army with US military aid and pushed the guerrillas deep into the jungle. The incident was a reminder that insurgents remain capable of occasional urban attacks despite being weakened and marginalised. "I believe this is a message, this is not gratuitous," said Santos. Investors and markets shrugged off the attack and the peso rose in morning trading. Police said about 50kg (110lbs) of explosives were packed into a grey Chevrolet Swift. A man with a scarf was reportedly seen getting out of the car shortly before the blast. It left a crater 45cm deep and 2.5m wide. Most of the wounded were treated for cuts and released, but three people remained under care. Passengers on a passing bus accounted for most of the casualties.