Bogota, Jun 17 (EFE).- At least three people, including a 23-year-old French woman, have died in an explosion at a shopping center in the Colombian capital on Saturday, according to Bogota emergency services.
The ‘Clínica del Country’ hospital said in a statement that 27-year-old Ana María Gutiérrez and 31-year-old Lady Paola Jaimes “died as a result of the injuries suffered” in the blast.
The mayor of Bogota, Enrique Peñalosa, has said that in addition to the dead, nine people were being treated for injuries, one of whom was in critical condition.
Colombian President Jose Manuel Santos condemned the explosion as a “vile, cruel, cowardly” attack, and reassured Colombians that the authorities “would not rest until those responsible are apprehended”.
The blast occurred in a women’s bathroom on the second storey of the shopping mall at 5 pm local time.
“This is a cowardly terrorist attack that we reject,” Peñalosa said, and announced that “both the Army and the Police have designated specialists to find those responsible for this cowardly attack”.
He added that authorities were not yet able to identify the perpetrators of the attack as investigations were still ongoing.
President Santos has ordered police chief, General Jorge Hernando Nieto, to lead the investigation into the attack, and expressed his “solidarity with the victims”.
Authorities evacuated the shopping center and closed surrounding streets following the blast.
Forensic and explosive technicians have arrived on the scene to inspect the site and determine what kind of bomb was used.