updated 5/24/2004 8:53:30 AM ET 2004-05-24T12:53:30

A bomb planted by suspected rebels exploded in a crowded discotheque in northwest Colombia, killing at least six people and wounding 82 — the bloodiest in a series of attacks marking the 40th anniversary of Colombia’s main rebel group.

Another bomb blew up early Sunday at a pool hall in the Caribbean port city of Cartagena, killing one person and wounding three. It was not immediately clear who was behind that attack.

At least 13 people have been killed and more than 100 wounded since the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, began its wave of attacks Thursday, apparently to mark the 40th anniversary of its founding this week.

A 4-year-old girl was among those killed when the bomb, packed in a small suitcase and planted in a bathroom, exploded in the discotheque shortly before midnight Saturday. The attack occurred in Apartado, 280 miles northwest of Bogota, in Antioquia state.

Antioquia state Lieutenant Gov. Jorge Mejia told The Associated Press the attack bore the hallmarks of the FARC. Authorities arrested a suspect shortly after the bombing with a hand grenade in his possession, Mejia said.

Mejia said seven people died in the blast, while Gen. Faucelino Latorre, the military chief in the region, said a total of six died.

Twenty-five of the injured are in serious or critical condition and have been flown to hospitals in Medellin, Colombia’s second-largest city.

Violence returns to Apartado
Until a decade ago, Apartado — located in Colombia’s sweltering banana-producing region near the Panamanian border — was under the control of the FARC and a smaller rebel group. But the Colombian Army, along with right-wing paramilitary forces, took control over the region in 1994. Officials said Apartado has been relatively peaceful recently.

“The violence we had forgotten in Apartado ... came back for a visit today,” said Apartado Mayor Fidel Banguero.

Colombian army troops, meanwhile, killed a FARC militia leader Sunday in a firefight near for 10 years, the army said.

In a separate clash, an unspecified number of FARC rebels were killed while three army soldiers were wounded in Magdalena state, in northern Colombia, the army said.

The FARC has been fighting for four decades to overthrow a succession of elected governments in this country and impose Marxist-style rule. An offensive ordered by hardline President Alvaro Uribe has thrown the FARC and a smaller rebel group known as the National Liberation Army, or ELN, on the defensive.

About 3,500 people are killed in the fighting each year.

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