According to the Colombian army’s 18th Brigade, the suspected ELN rebels blew up a section of the Caño-Limon-Coveñas oil pipeline on Wednesday afternoon in the Arauquita municipality, located close to the Venezuelan border. Colonel Sergio Ortiz of the Colombian army said the attack caused an oil spill. Technicians from state-owned oil company Ecopetrol arrived at the site after the attack to begin reparation work, newspaper El Tiempo reported.
Wednesday’s rebel attack was the fifth against the Caño-Limon-Coveñas oil pipeline registered in Arauca so far this year. In the neighboring Norte de Santander department, seven attacks against the same pipeline have been recorded during 2013.
On Thursday, also in Arauca, presumed ELN rebels attacked the police in the town of Saravena, killing one policeman and leaving another policeman with grave injuries.
The ELN, with some 2,500 armed members, has been fighting the Colombian state for nearly half a century. The group does not participate in the ongoing FARC-government peace talks in Havana, Cuba.