Colombia car bomb wounds 17; 'calamity' averted

June 20, 2011 01:16

BOGOTA - A car bomb wounded 17 people in Colombia's colonial-era city of Popayan, but a "calamity" was averted when police intercepted the vehicle before it reached its target in the main square, authorities said on Sunday.

Acting on a tip, police stopped the car late Saturday night in an outlying neighborhood before it reached its intended destination, where soccer fans were celebrating a victory.

When officers suspected an explosive device was inside, they hauled out the driver and warned passers-by to leave the area before it exploded, police said.

The car was packed with 70 kg (154 pounds) of explosives and went off seven minutes after the auto was intercepted.

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