Five suspects were captured Thursday after an alleged FARC attack in northeastern Colombia that left seven police dead.
According to follow-up reports, only 12 police had been injured, four were killed immediately in the attack and three died on the way to the hospital. Six of the wounded are in “critical condition.”
The Norte de Santander Police department confirmed with Colombia Reports that five suspects had been captured and one of them was captured wounded.
Police said they suspected the attack was committed by members of Colombia’s largest guerrilla group the FARC’s 33rd Front.
Authorities also said the attack may have been a coordinated effort between different FARC Fronts and Colombia’s second largest guerrilla group the ELN.
“At the moment we don’t know exactly who is responsible. But we suspect there were various Fronts and organizations involved. We suspect the FARC and ELN were responsible.” a North Santander Police department spokesperson told Colombia Reports.
The attack occurred around 2:30AM Thursday morning, while the police acting as part of an operation to eradicate coca plants in the area.
The operation began Saturday and police reported heavy guerrilla resistance in the days leading up to the clash.
Various Colombian officials have condemned the attacks. On his Twitter account Colombian Vice President Angelino Garzon said, “I condemn the criminal actions of the FARC guerrillas in North Santander, where they killed seven humble police and injured 12 others.”
Norte de Santander Governor Edgar Diaz also reprimanded the attacks but said, “Unfortunately the [coca field] eradication process has only resulted in terrorist groups increasing their presence.”
The governor said it was necessary to find alternatives to coca crop eradication.
In related news Colombia passed the first draft of a bill that would legalize illicit crops.