Reuters. 2 February 2002. Colombian rebels try to bombard bus station.

BOGOTA -- In what appeared to be the latest of a wave of leftist rebel
attacks, suspected FARC guerrillas tried unsuccessfully to bombard a bus
station in Colombia's capital Bogota Saturday, police said.

The suspected rebels managed to fire off one home-made mortar bomb at
the bus station in the neighborhood of El Porvenir in the early hours of
Saturday morning, when it had closed for the night, police said.

The prompt arrival of the police forced them to abandon two pick-up
trucks loaded with another five of the mortars -- made out of gas
canisters. Their only shot missed, and injured no one, but they managed
to escape, police said.

The inaccurate gas-cylinder mortars are a trademark weapon of the
17,000-strong Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia -- known by the
Spanish initials "FARC."

The FARC, the country's largest leftist rebel force, has launched an
offensive throughout the country since reaching a deal with the
government on January 20 to negotiate a deal by an April 7 deadline
toward implementing a cease-fire.

Analysts say that the FARC onslaught could be calculated to show it has
not gone soft.

['Analysts' don't seem to have any speculations about the AUC, which has
publicly rejected the peace process.]

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Barry Stoller

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