At least five soldiers died and another seventeen were injured when they were ambushed by guerrillas in Colombia’s central Antioquia department.
Antioquia Governor Luis Alfredo Ramos told AFP that a military convoy was attacked in the El Bagre municipality early Sunday morning. Ramos said he believed terrorist group the FARC were responsible for the attack.
However the commander of the Colombian army’s 11th Brigade, Colonel Juan Forero, said he believed that the attack was the work of ELN guerrillas, who are also present in the region.
Colombian Defense Minister Rodrigo Rivera called an emergency meeting with high ranking armed forces officials on Sunday to analyze the public security situation. Colombian terrorists have inflicted at least four attacks in less than a week, which have killed 24 members of the armed forces.
On Wednesday fourteen police officers were killed in the southern Caqueta department when their patrol vehicle went over a land mine. Guerrillas shot and burned to death those injured in the blast. Five soldiers were also killed in separate clashes Thursday with FARC guerrillas in the Norte de Santander and Nariño departments, on the borders with Venezuela and Ecuador, respectively.
Following the spate of attacks, the administration of President Juan Manuel Santos has categorically ruled out peace talks with Colombian rebel organizations. Santos took office August 7 amid FARC peace overtures after eight years of rebel losses under former president Alvaro Uribe‘s hardline anti-insurgent policies.
However Colombians for Peace leader Piedad Cordoba has called for the FARC to accept responsibility for the attacks, and still hopes to instigate a peace dialogue between left wing rebels and the Colombian government.