According to the latest police report, six policemen and two guerrillas have been killed in combat, which began around 4AM Friday when the FARC tried to take San Miguel, close to the border with Ecuador.
“Six of our men have died and [there are] four injured. The most important thing is that the police stopped the FARC from entering the town,” said police General Orlando Paez.
“Two subversives are down, three rifles seized, and ammunition and equipment seized too,” Paez continued.
According to the general, the Colombian army is still engaged in combat with the guerrillas, who are believed to belong to the FARC’s 15th and 48th Fronts.
Soldiers formed patrols and “went out into the countryside, when we realized that these subversives were entering via paths and secondary routes,” Paez said.
“They began combat with rifles, with machine guns, with explosives. In the course of this combat, which is still underway, we were informed that six men had died,” Paez said.
Previous reports indicated that eight soldiers had been killed by guerrillas, who had taken over the San Miguel police station. It now appears that the initial clash occurred when rebels attacked a control point on the international bridge between Colombia and Ecuador.
Three soldiers are reported to be seriously injured and two police patrols have been missing since 6.30AM Friday, according to Paez.
Army and air force reinforcements have been dispatched to help regain control of the zone, as well as two ambulance helicopters to tend to the injured policemen.
National police commissioner General Oscar Naranjo is in a meeting with Colombian Defense Minister Rodrigo Rivera to evaluate the magnitude of the attack and decide upon the measures necessary to retake the zone.
This is the latest in a series of attacks that have been carried out over the last week, killing more than 30 members of the Colombian armed forces.
Following the spate of attacks, the administration of President Juan Manuel Santos has categorically ruled out peace talks with Colombian rebel groups. 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.