Three police officers were killed as the result of a targeted bomb attack on a police station located in the San Jose neighborhood of Barranquilla, Colombia at roughly 6:40 am local time on Saturday morning. Another 14 people were injured, according to Reuters. Those injured were transferred to the Barranquilla General Hospital, Murillo clinic, and La Victoria Clinic.
Police Commander Brigadier General Mariano de la Cruz Botero said one person was detained in connection with the deadly explosion. Police suspect that others are involved in the attacks, according to Reuters.
Cruz Botero reported that the explosive device had been installed in the locale where police officers participate in morning training exercises. The device is said to have been activated remotely as the policemen gathered to receive their orders for the day, according to reports.
While the motive of the attack is yet to be ascertained, Cruz Botero has not ruled out the possibility of it being retaliation by gangs for a crackdown on drug trafficking in Caribbean coastal city.
"We think it could be retaliation by these groups who have been recently impacted," Botero said in comments broadcast by Caracol Radio.
The mayor of Barranquilla, Alejandro Char Chaljub, tweeted that authorities will not rest until they "find the whereabouts of those responsible.” Meanwhile, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, who is in Vienna, and Vice President Oscar Naranjo offered their condolences to the family members of those killed in the attack.
Colombia's police chief, Jorge Hernan Nieto, canceled his trip to Medellin to take charge of the situation in Barranquilla.