Dozens were injured in an explosion outside the bullring in Bogota, Colombia’s capital city. Officials believe the incident was an intentional attack against the police force.

Scene of the explosion in Bogota, Colombia

Scene of the explosion in Bogota, Colombia Photo Credit: EPA

The Bogota mayor’s office reported that more than 30 people were injured by a blast outside the city’s bullring, which is often frequented by locals. It took place prior to a protest held by animal rights activists.

Protests have become a weekly occurrence following a municipal decision to reinstate traditional bullfighting in Bogota after a four-year ban. Many of those injured were policemen. Jorge Restrepo, director of Colombia’s Conflict Analysis Resource Center (CERAC) believes that police may have been the target of the explosion.

The bullring was closed by former Mayor Gustavo Petro in 2012 and was ordered to be reopened by Colombia’s Constitutional Court on January 21, 2017. Bogota Mayor Enrique Penalosa commented on social media that he will not allow these “terrorists” to intimidate him and his forces and that he will do whatever necessary to capture them.

In the past weeks, many demonstrators have been arrested for violent conduct. Police even had to use tear gas when animal rights demonstrators started to attack local spectators.