Some 500 people have been forced to flee their homes in northeast Colombia after fighting broke out between soldiers and guerrillas, the United Nations said Tuesday.
The combat between the National Army and the EPL guerrilla group in Hacari injured two civilians, one adult and one minor, according to the UN’s human rights office, the OCHA.
The minor was taken to a hospital in the nearby town of Ocaña for treatment.
A total of 112 families from five townships were displaced. The majority found shelter with family, but others have looked for help in the urban center of Hacari, the OCHA said.
The human rights office warned that the rural region’s lack of facilities could spur a larger flow of migrants if the violence persists.
The EPL is one of two guerrilla groups that is active in Hacari and the rest of the surrounding Catatumbo region. The guerrilla group is mainly involved in drug trafficking in the coca-rich region.
The group was formed by dissidents of a peace process with the EPL in 1991 and has been active along the Venezuelan border ever since.