Two guerrillas from the ELN rebel group and one Colombian army major were killed in combat in central eastern Colombia on Thursday.
The 16th Brigade of the Colombian Army said in a press release that two “suspected terrorists” were killed and one more was injured and captured in a battle between the military and the “Victor Manuel Diaz” front of guerrilla organization the ELN.
The statement revealed that the battalion had also seized a van which was used to carry weapons, munition, communications and material for logistical warfare.
The operation which took place in the central eastern department of Casanare also took the life of Major Wilson Humberto Gomez Benitez who led the 44th Infantry Batallion and had been in service for 15 years. The 16th Brigade described the major as standing out for his excellent work for the “welfare of Colombians” and his “love of the Army.”
General Adelmo Fajardo of the Colombian Army’s Eight Division told W Radio that Gomez Benitez was a “great man, a hero of the Motherland who offered his life.”
According to the army, during the last two weeks of his life Gomez Benitez had participated in the planning and execution of important military offensives against the ELN, including the capture of “Boyaco,” head of the “Ramirez” front of the organization.
Fajardo insisted that these recent operations represented great military successes in the ongoing fight against internal terrorist organizations.
Colombia’s second largest guerrilla group, the ELN (National Liberation Army), was originally formed as a Marxist-Leninist/Liberation Theology movement. However, the organization as it is now appears to concentrate its energies more on drug trafficking, kidnapping and extortion.