Some of 15 soldiers who were killed by FARC guerrillas in the northeast of Colombia on Saturday were executed, newspaper El Tiempo reported Monday.
According to the newspaper, investigators of the Prosecutor General’s Office found that an undisclosed number of the dead soldiers were found unarmed and killed by a shot to the head.
However, the execution claims were not corroborated by eye witnesses cited by the same newspaper.
According to the witnesses, the group of 30 soldiers were surprised and overmanned by some 80 guerrillas who — before the arrival of the troops — had taken strategic positions to surround and attack the enemy.
“The guerrillas gave the soldiers no time at all,” one reported eye witness told the newspaper, explaining that the soldiers were attacked before they had even unpacked their gear.
According to one of the witnesses, the soldiers found themselves attacked with firearms, home-made mortars and grenades before being able to get a hold of their weapons.
Within the hour, a nearby army unit was able to provide assistance and push away the guerrillas, arresting twelve suspected FARC members while on retreat.
There were no further reports on the fate of 14 soldiers who had been reported missing in action on Sunday.
Saturday’s ambush is the FARC’s deadliest attack admitted by authorities in more than a year and forced President Juan Manuel Santos to send extra troops to the remote region.
“These are the instructions to our forces: don’t stop shooting for even a moment until we reach the end of this conflict,” Santos said Sunday. “All of Colombia must work for peace precisely so that incidents like those that occurred in the last 24 hours never happen again.”
The FARC and the government have been involved in peace talks since November, but have no agreement on a ceasefire while the talks are ongoing.