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Colombian Police Defuse Remote-Control Car Bombs - 2002-12-12

Security forces rushed Colombian President Alvaro Uribe Velez to a military base early Wednesday after learning of a possible assassination plot by leftist rebels. The security alert coincided with a rash of foiled car bombings.

President Uribe was scheduled to appear at an awards ceremony at a hotel in Medellin, about 300 kilometers north-west of Bogota. But he abruptly changed his plans and took a helicopter to a nearby military base after learning of a possible assassination plot.

Meanwhile, in the nation's capital, Defense Minister Marta Lucia Ramirez revealed that police had de-fused five remote-control car bombs.

The bombs were so big, police said, they could have destroyed entire city blocks.

Authorities believe Colombia's largest guerrilla group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) are behind all these incidents.

The FARC have been protesting what they consider a corrupt political oligarchy for 38 years, but until recently they fought their battles in the countryside. Now, they are vowing to bring the violence to city streets.

Colombian authorities have averted these latest terror attacks, but they are asking citizens to remain on guard.