At least 14 people were injured when a device exploded in the Colombian city of Barranquilla, capital of the northern department of Atlantico, Mayor Jaime Pumarejo said on Tuesday.
After condemning the attack, the mayor announced a reward of 20 million pesos (about 5,740 U.S. dollars) to anyone who provides relevant information leading to any arrests.
According to initial reports, the attack was perpetrated by a criminal organization that extorts money from city merchants, “which we have been investigating with the attorney general’s office and the police for several months,” Pumarejo said.
The mayor told business owners in the area to stay calm and assured them that the police presence will be bolstered to prevent the recurrence of extortion and violent attacks.
“We are going to reinforce security so that these people know that the police and the mayor’s office are protecting merchants and making sure they can work in peace,” he said.
Pumarejo reported that the 14 wounded, including a minor, were being treated at local hospitals and were all out of danger.