A small bomb exploded Sunday in Yarumal, a city in the northwestern Colombian province of Antioquia, wounding three people just hours before the polls opened for mayoral elections, officials said.

The victims - two adults and an 8-year-old girl - were wounded in Cedeño, a small community within Yamural's city limits.

The bomb was planted near a church by the 36th Front of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, army 4th Brigade commander Gen. Jesus Martinez Espinel said.

The wounded were taken to a community clinic, while officials deployed additional troops and police to bolster security for the municipal elections.

Miguel Pelaez Henao, of the Conservative Party, and Diego Roldan Jaramillo, of the Liberal Party, are the two candidates for mayor of Yarumal.

The Colombian government has made fighting the FARC a top priority and has obtained billions in U.S. aid for counterinsurgency operations.

The FARC is on both the U.S. and EU lists of terrorist groups. Drug trafficking, extortion and kidnapping-for-ransom are the FARC's main means of financing its operations.

The FARC has suffered a series of setbacks in recent years at the hands of the Colombian security forces.

Alfonso Cano, the FARC's top leader, was killed on Nov. 4 in a military and police operation that the government hailed as the biggest blow to the FARC in its nearly 50-year history.

Cano, a 63-year-old intellectual who had entered the ranks of the FARC 30 years ago, was killed in in a remote area of the southwestern province of Cauca a few hours after fleeing a bombardment.

The FARC also suffered a series of blows in 2008, with the biggest coming in July of that year, when the Colombian army rescued a group of high-profile rebel-held captives: former presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt, U.S. military contractors Thomas Howes, Keith Stansell and Marc Gonsalves, and 11 other Colombian police officers and soldiers. EFE