The president initially said on Twitter that 11 arrests were carried out by the National Police in conjunction with the Prosecutor General’s Office, but added that three more were made only minutes after his initial announcement.
The Defense Ministry confirmed there had been 14 arrests of suspects “acting in the name of the ELN,” Colombia’s second largest rebel group that has been violently opposing the state since 1964.
Authorities had been searching for the perpetrators of two bomb attacks that targeted two pension fund offices within minuted of each other last week. According to Bogota police commander General Humberto Guatibonza, more than 250 officers were involved in “Operation Tormenta” that resulted in the arrests.
Among the detainees are two employees of the Bogota city administration and one professor of the National University, Colombia’s largest public university, deputy Prosecutor General Jorge Fernando Perdomo said.
Other detainees are students at the university, which in the past has seen armed ELN manifestations on its campus.
Colombia’s prosecutor general, Eduardo Montealegre, accused the ELN of the attacks only minutes after they took place.
The ELN is Colombia’s second largest rebel group after the FARC and has been engaged in exploratory peace talks with the government since before June last year.
However, these talks have failed to progress to a formal stage.
The government is also negotiating peace with the FARC rebels who did agree to formal talks.