At least one police officer has already been confirmed dead in an explosion that also left nine people injured in southwestern Colombia, reported national media.
Authorities are attributing the bombing, which struck the Guapi municipality in the southern state of Cauca Monday morning, to the FARC rebel group, the country’s largest and oldest, according to Caracol Radio.
Chief of Cauca Police Ramiro Ivan Perez told reporters that a police patrol was returning from a rural area of the municipality where a fight had occurred when the bomb went off. The makeshift explosive device was activated when the patrol was passing through the town center.
In addition to the officer who eventually died of his wounds, two other policemen were said to have bene injured in the attack. Survivors are reportedly scheduled to be taken by plane to a hospital in Cali, the region’s largest city.
Police have already blamed the FARC’s 29th Front, active in the area, for orchestrating the attack. In the nearby state of Nariño, two police officers were kidnapped, tortured and murdered last week, an attack the FARC subsequently acknowledged responsibility for.
The FARC have been engaged in bilateral peace talks with the Colombian government since November 2012, but no ceasefire was ever put in place as part of the negotiations. As a result, both parties have continued offensive campaigns against the other.
Last week’s attacks, along with other episodes, have brought heightened tensions to the talks, including calls by opponents of the peace process that the government leave the negotiation table.
So far, the FARC has yet to claim responsibility for the attack.