Colombia’s largest guerrilla group, the FARC, allegedly killed 12 Colombian soldiers near the Venezuelan border Monday.
According to Spanish news wire EFE, the Colombian army’s First Brigade was ambushed during a patrol outside the city of Maicao, the second largest urban center near the border of Venezuela in the northern department of La Guajira.
A report by the Reuters news agency said the attackers used machine guns, rifles, and explosives, killing at least 12 soldiers and wounding four others.
A Colombian Air Force report said the wounded were airlifted to a hospital in Maicao. It also underscored that the military has also increased their presence in the area, hoping to catch FARC’s 59th Front who they say were responsible for the “cruel attack.”
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez responded to to incident on the country’s national television station VTV. “Starting this morning we have strengthened aerial patrols […] because we want to reinforce our position: we will not permit incursions by armed forces of any nature into Venezuelan territory.”
Monday’s attack follows a series of recent incidents attributed to the FARC, including the bombing of a police station in northern Colombia, an attack on a military base in the south, and a high profile bombing in the capital of Bogota.