Some 290 people were forced to flee their village in the southwest of Colombia after alleged FARC guerrillas attacked the local police station, local media reported Monday.
The presumed FARC guerrillas attacked the village on Sunday evening, launching home-made mortars that injured two policemen. One home was destroyed and others severely damaged, a local representative told newspaper El Espectador.
Fearing more violence, the locals sought refuge in Cumbitara, a nearby town in the center of the Nariño department.
The attack appeared to be a repercussion to a series of raids in the area that left 20 alleged guerrillas in jail last week.
Following the attack, the army entered the area around La Esperanza to push the guerrillas out of the area. This military offensive reportedly resulted in the capture of two injured guerrillas.
However, according to El Espectador, the locals are afraid to return fearing that the FARC might strike again.
The Nariño Governor’s Office immediately called a special security council to evaluate the security situation while trying to coordinate humanitarian aid for the displaced.
Nariño is one of the most affected provinces by violence that flared up after the FARC suspended a unilateral ceasefire on May 22 and resumed a military offensive unseen since 2011.
According to a Colombian conflict monitor group, the FARC carried out as many as 150 attacks in the last month. The rebel attacks and military offensives have left more than a thousand displaced, mainly in the southwest and west of the country.
The FARC attacks have also left millions of dollars in damage to the oil industry and major environmental damage in areas where they blew up oil pipelines or set fire to oil wells.
While both parties relentlessly wage war, peace talks between the government and the country’s largest and longest-living rebel group have been ongoing since November 2012 and have produced partial agreements on rural reform, the guerrillas’ abandoning of drug trafficking activities and the FARC’s integration to Colombian political life.
The most recent accord, closed only weeks ago, was on the formation of a truth commission that will seek to clarify what happened during the conflict. This commission will take effect if a final peace deal is reached and Colombia does enter a post-conflict scenario.
The two negotiating teams are still talking about the two remaining points on the peace talks agenda; Victims and End of Violence.