A three-year-old child was killed and three people were injured in the crossfire between two warring neo-paramilitary gangs “Los Paisas” and “Los Urabeños” in the northern Colombian deparment of Norte de Santander, El Colombiano reported Monday.
Fighting between the two opposing gangs occurred in the town of El Tigre over drug trafficking territory and routes, while inhabitants of the area took refuge in their houses as the gangs shot at each other from either side.
A three-year-old was hit in the head and died at the scene, with a five-year-old girl being taken to hospital after being shot in the buttocks. Two older men, 28 and 45, were hit in the abdomen and leg respectively.
Army forces arrived in the area to repel the gangs and assist the injured, with General Leonardo Pinto, commander of the 11th Brigade, lamenting the fact that the gangs had not takenthe local civilian population into consideration.
The injured were taken to a hospital in nearby Caceres, said the military commander.
In a separate but possibly related incident in the same department, a 14-year-old died after an abandoned explosive detonated. He was killed and two others injured after finding the device that is believed to have been left since fighting began last week between the neo-paramilitary groups.