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  HOME | Colombia (Click here for more)

Guerrillas Target Army, Police in Attacks in Eastern Colombia

BOGOTA – The National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrilla group has continued its wave of violence following the end of a temporary ceasefire deal with the Colombian government, attacking army and police installations in the eastern part of the country, officials said Thursday.

The latest attacks are among a series of violent actions that began Wednesday, a day after a 100-day truce with the government expired.

“We repudiate and completely reject last night’s hostilities by enemies of the peace targeting police installations in Saravena,” the local mayor’s office said Thursday on Twitter.

The attack on the police command in that municipality, located in the northeastern province of Arauca, occurred at around 9.40 pm local time.

The acting National Police commander in Arauca, Col. Juan Eduardo Arcos, told reporters that a pair of guerrillas fired several gunshots at the headquarters.

No one was killed or injured in the attack, which caused material damage to the facility.

Separately, Colombian armed forces commander Gen. Alberto Jose Mejia said in an interview with Blu Radio that the ELN also attacked the military base housing members of the army’s Vulcano Task Force, a facility located in El Tarra, a municipality in the northern province of Norte de Santander.

No one was injured in that Thursday morning attack.

The ELN launched a wave of violence in different parts of the country after the expiration of a ceasefire that began on Oct. 1 and ended Jan. 9.

On Wednesday, an ELN sniper killed a soldier in Arauca and the group also carried out four attacks on oil infrastructure.

President Juan Manuel Santos responded to the violence by recalling the government’s delegates from the Ecuadorian capital, where they had been scheduled to resume peace talks with the ELN on Wednesday.

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), formerly the Andean nation’s largest insurgency, last year completed the handover of its weapons to the United Nations under the terms of a November 2016 peace accord with the Santos government.

Santos was awarded the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize for ending the decades-long conflict with the FARC.

Peace talks between the government and the ELN began in February of last year.

 

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