BOGOTA, Colombia — A bomb exploded outside a police station in the Pacific port city of Tumaco just as lunch hour ended Wednesday, killing at least five people and wounding 20, authorities said.
The bomb appeared to be a motorcycle packed with explosives, Tumaco security chief Hernando Cortes told The Associated Press.
Gen. Rodolfo Palomino, the national police director of citizen security, provided the casualty toll and said it was a preliminary figure.
Palomino blamed the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, for the attack, though Tumaco’s mayor, Victor Gallo, refrained from assigning blame.
The southwestern port is one of Colombia’s most lawless cities, a cocaine-smuggling hub where leftist rebels, right-wing criminal bands and drug traffickers are all present.
The 1:58 p.m. blast occurred “in an area with a great abundance of population, as much for the hour as the geographical location,” Palomino said. It is the end of lunch hour in Colombia.
Tumaco is located in Narino state, which borders Ecuador and is laced with scores of rivers popular with drug traffickers, who include the FARC.
The most recent major FARC attack in the region occurred in October when 10 soldiers were killed in a mortar attack while on patrol in a rural part of Tumaco.