Pipeline blast kills at least 25, injures 65


Bogota - At least 25 people died and 65 were badly injured when suspected left-wing rebels bombed Colombia's largest pipeline and burning crude oil set fire to an entire village yesterday.

Most of the victims were asleep when the pre-dawn explosion damaged a section of the 800-km Ocensa pipeline near the gold-mining village of Machuca in the north-western province of Antioquia.

Police blamed the explosion on the National Liberation Army rebels, who only last week launched tentative peace talks with the government and independent civic leaders. The incident is likely to be a severe setback to the group's efforts to promote itself as a political as well as a military movement.