Colombia’s Ministry of Mines and Energy has confirmed that 13 people have been wounded from an apparent guerrilla attack on a worker’s encampment along an important oil pipeline, Colombian media reported on Sunday.
Thirteen people were injured when two cylinder bombs exploded at a worker’s camp along the Caño Limon-Coveñas pipeline in Colombia’s northeast state of Arauca, according to Colombia’s El Tiempo newspaper.
The attack against camp facilities was unprecedented as these types of attacks generally occur on the actual pipeline or in the oil fields and not against civilian living quarters.
“This time the attack was not against the pipeline itself, but rather against the camp facilities, seriously jeopardizing the integrity of the people who were there at the time,” said Colombia’s Minister of Mines and Energy, Amylkar Acosta.
According to Colombia’s national oil company Ecopetrol, the attack occurred at about 4PM when company employees, families, and neighbors were attending Sunday mass.
Those injured were initially taken to a Caño Limon medical center before being transferred to hospitals in Arauca and Bogota.
According to Occidental, a US-based partner company of Ecopetrol, this attack has not affected the field production nor transportation of oil; however, activities were temporarily suspended in the camp facilities in order to evacuate civilians for safety and investigation.
Colombia’s National Army has blamed the country’s second largest rebel group, the ELN, for this attack, as they have been blamed for committing three other attacks along the same pipeline all within the past 10 days.