Toll in Colombia mine explosion rises to 13


At least eight people were killed and five remain missing after an explosion at an illegal coal mine in Colombia.

When asked by reporters, Colombia National Police Chief Jorge Hernando Nieto refused to answer whether those arrested were present at the mall.

On Saturday, four men and four women were arrested after authorities served several search warrants in Bogota and the nearby town of El Espinal. He said the investigation is ongoing.

Among those killed in the blast was a French citizen doing volunteer work in Colombia.

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Three people were killed and eight wounded when an explosive detonated in a women's restroom at the Andino shopping center on June 17.

The demobilisation of the leftist FARC and peace talks with the last active rebel force, the ELN, are meant to end more than half a century of violence.

A peace accord signed previous year with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the country's biggest guerrilla group, further raised hopes bomb attacks might be a thing of the past.

The ELN denied any involvement in last weekend's bombing in a tweet and condemned the attack against civilians. The commercial centre was packed with people buying gifts in advance of Father's Day celebrations. Purses and bags were once checked at the entrance to shopping malls, but the practice has been scaled back in recent years.