BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) – A bomb packed inside a pickup truck and apparently meant to target government forces killed three members of a family, including two children, when it exploded as they passed by, police said Tuesday.

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, probably planted the bomb, said police Col. Uriel Toro.

“That would be most likely, that it was the rebels, probably hoping that an army or police convoy would pass by,” Toro added.

A 9-year-old girl, a 10-year-old boy and a man were walking past the abandoned truck Monday in Florida county, a FARC stronghold in southwest Colombia, when one of the children apparently touched the truck or tried to open a door, triggering the blast, Toro said.

The three victims were members of an extended family, Toro said, but he did not know precisely how they were related.

The FARC has proposed Florida county as a site for talks with government officials on a possible humanitarian exchange of jailed rebels for hostages being held by the rebels. The two sides have not yet met because the rebels want the military and police to clear out of Florida county for one month during the talks. President Alvaro Uribe has ruled out creating a demilitarized zone, but guaranteed that rebel negotiators would be protected.

This marked the second deadly incident involving children in four days in which the FARC is being blamed. On Friday, two young Indian boys were killed when a hand grenade they found in a field exploded. Officials said the FARC probably left the grenade during a three-week offensive in April against the military in the Toribio region, in southwest Colombia.


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