Crime & Justice

Nine soldiers killed in Colombia rebel ambush

Bogota, Mar 29 (EFE).- At least nine soldiers were killed and eight others wounded when their unit was ambushed in northeastern Colombia on Wednesday, the country’s army said, blaming the ELN rebel group for the attack.

Soldiers from the Special Energy and Road Battalion No. 10 were ambushed with explosive devices and gunshots in El Carmen in the North Santander department of the Catatumbo region, according to the military.

Colombian president Gustavo Petro expressed his “total repudiation” of the attack.

“Seven soldiers who were doing their military service and 2 non-commissioned officers (…) murdered by those who still are absolutely far from peace and the people,” he wrote on Twitter.

“I have summoned the government delegation to the ELN table, guarantor and accompanying countries for consultation. A peace process must be serious and responsible with Colombian society,” he said.

Initial information suggests the attack was carried out by guerillas from the leftist ELN rebel group, which has been involved in peace talks with the government for months.

Gen. Luis Mauricio Ospina has traveled to the area to lead operations there, according to the army.

Defense minister Ivan Velasquez is scheduled to give a statement on the attack against the army, the most serious since the beginning of the peace talks being held with the ELN in Caracas, Mexico City and Havana. EFE


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