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2 Killed in Colombia Missile Attack

March 15, 2000

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) _ Suspected leftist rebels fired two homemade missiles at a military base in Medellin on Tuesday, missing their target but killing two civilians and injuring 14, authorities said.

About a dozen cars parked just outside the 4th Brigade headquarters were partially destroyed in the 4:45 p.m. attack.

The base escaped damage, but one projectile slammed into the offices of a security company about 400 feet away, killing a male and a female employee, said a brigade spokesman, Maj. Oscar Anzola.

The injured included other security company officials and local residents.

Anzola said the missiles were launched from a truck that was badly mangled.

Colombia’s military commander, Gen. Fernando Tapias, blamed leftist rebels.

``The only people launching explosives in (propane) gas cylinders in the country are the FARC,″ he told reporters in Bogota, refering to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia by its Spanish initials.

It was not the first attack on 4th Brigade headquarters. In November, another homemade missile attack injured six passers-by.

The brigade is responsible for Medellin, the country’s second-largest city, and the surrounding state of Antioquia. The region is among Colombia’s most turbulent, with leftist rebels and right-wing paramilitary units vying for control of the countryside and the highest rate of massacres. `

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