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Head of Colombia Drug-Probe Agency Survives Blast Killing 4, Injuring 38

From Times Wires Services

The head of the elite Colombian intelligence agency that probes the country’s powerful drug gangs survived a car bomb explosion Tuesday that killed four people and injured 38, police said.

Four vehicles--two belonging to bodyguards of intelligence chief Miguel Maza Marquez and two private cars--were destroyed in the explosion, which also shattered the windows of buildings in the area, witnesses said. Maza Marquez was traveling with bodyguards in a bulletproof car when the bomb exploded in a parked car on a main street. He was only slightly hurt, although several of his bodyguards were seriously injured.

“It looks like a street in Beirut,” an unidentified witness told a local radio station. Another witness said 10 children were injured as they were awaiting a school bus.

Maza Marquez, the fifth-ranking police officer in Colombia, is head of the government’s top intelligence organization, known as the Department of Administrative Security. It investigates narcotics cases, right-wing paramilitary groups, leftist guerrillas and massacres.

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Anonymous telephone callers to Radio Cadena Nacional radio station said the attack was “made in Medellin,” apparently indicating it was plotted by drug traffickers in Colombia’s second-largest city--the home of one of the largest cocaine rings in the world.


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