Five people died and 65 were wounded when a grenade exploded during an indigenous
New Years party in a remote region of northern Colombia, local
authorities said on Thursday.
The explosion at the
party, attended by local indigenous groups, was not an attack on the community,
army general Luis Paredes initially told reporters.
Apparently someone attending
the event was carrying the grenade, which could have exploded accidently, he said.
Indigenous leader Betoven Arlan Ariza, however, secured it was an attack. “Someone threw a grenade where people were celebrating and now there are five people dead and more than sixty wounded. Four women and one man are dead, all members of the Kankuamo tribe,” the indigenous leader said.
The region’s governor
Jaime Arias also expressed suspicion of the army’s account. It was an “act of war” against
the community, he told Caracol Radio.
The Police offered a 20 million peso reward for those who have information leading to those responsible for the explosion.
The total number of violent deaths across Colombia was 54 this year. 112 people were injured.