Colombian security agents have foiled an attempt to kill the country's chief prosecutor with a book bomb.

Authorities said Tuesday the bomb was intended for Attorney General Luis Camilo Osorio and was hidden in a book about South American independence figure Simon Bolivar.

They also say security officials in Mr. Osorio's office detected the bomb and were able to deactivate it safely without opening the package.

Investigators tell the Colombian newspaper El Tiempo that the bomb was sent from a fictitious university address.

Authorities did not immediately blame any of the country's outlawed armed groups for sending the device.

Colombia is in the midst of a 38-year civil war involving leftist rebels, right-wing paramilitaries and the government. The conflict has left at least 40,000 people dead in the past decade alone.