Colombia’s largest rebel group, FARC, launched a series of attacks after ending their two-month unilateral ceasefire.
The first attack took place in the northern Norte de Santander department, where guerrilla fighters from the 33d Front attacked an army outpost in the Hacari municipality with machine guns and homemade mortars. The attack left four soldiers wounded, according to the army.
In the southwestern Putumayo department, FARC rebels destroyed electricity towers in the Orito municipality, leaving several municipalities without light on Sunday, while other FARC rebels sabotaged oil installations in the La Hormiga municipality.
In the same department early on Monday, FARC rebels destroyed an oil pipeline belonging to the Ecopetrol oil company.
Meanwhile, in the southwestern Cauca department, rebels from the FARCs 45th Front launched a grenade on a police station in the Piamonte municipality, while other FARC rebels attacked a Bell transport helicopter further north in Caloto.
Colombian police said security had been reinforced in several Colombian regions to prepare for a possible FARC offensive in the coming days.
“We are on the offensive. We had an open discussion and I received a lot of intelligence information about suspected operations of this organization had planned and is planning after this moment [and we are] taking all the precautions, all the measures to make sure these actions are neutralized,” said Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos on Sunday.
Colombian Interior Minister Fernando Carillo said on Monday that “any FARC action is proof of cowardice,” referring to the latest rebel actions.
FARC rebels and government negotiators are currently engaged in peace talks in the Cuban capital of Havana to put an end to the country’s half a century old conflict.