Colombia’s rebel group FARC killed at least 17 soldiers in combat in the northeast of the country, said the army Saturday. Fourteen others were reported missing.
According to the army, the soldiers — all belonging to a unit in charge of protecting the Caño Limon oil pipeline that runs through Arauca — were killed in a guerrilla ambush.
Some media additionally reported that 14 soldiers had gone missing after the attack while five were injured.
The FARC itself made no statement on the attack.
Following the rebel group’s deadliest attack of the year, the armed forces carried out an offensive and arrested at least 10 men accused of having taken part in the ambush. Five of the alleged rebels were injured.
President Juan Manuel Santos and his defense minister, Juan Carlos Pinzon, immediately called a security council meeting in Arauca to be held on Sunday.
The remote Arauca department has seen a large number of rebel attacks, mostly on the locally operating oil industry, over the past few years.