In the southwestern Nariño department, members of the Colombian army were ambushed by FARC guerrillas in the Policarpa municipality resulting in the death of four soldiers.
“In the confrontation four of our men died and two were injured,” said Mario Valencia, a commander of the Colombian army in the area.
The army representative said the FARC guerrillas belonged to the 29th Front of the FARC, which has been responsible for countless attacks against security forces in Policarpa and Buenaventura over the past years.
Newspaper El Pais reported the deceased soldiers belonged to Task Force Pegaso. Their bodies had not yet been removed from the area of the attack. There were no reports of casualties on the behalf of the FARC guerrillas.
The army said fighting continues in the area.
Meanwhile, in the southwestern Cauca department, alleged FARC rebels kidnapped three civilian oil engineers in the Piamonte municipality.
According to local authorities, the three engineers worked for Gran Tierra, an oil company involved in exploration work in the area.
“They were traveling on a road connecting Piamonte [with] Miraflor…and three armed persons emerged, who identified themselves as members of the FARC, [and] simply took them away,” said Arelli Isaldiaz, a local government representative.
FARC announced that they would put an end to the practice of kidnapping civilians in February of 2012. However, “Pablo Catatumbo,” the leader of the FARC’s Western Bloc which was allegedly responsible for Wednesday’s kidnapping, in April of 2012 said that kidnappings were necessary as the “war requires finances.”
The FARC rebels and government negotiators are currently involved in peace talks in the Cuban capital of Havana to put an end to the nearly half-century worth of armed conflict.
Both Colombia’s defense minister and vice president on Wednesday said that the FARC’s decision to continue kidnapping members of the security forces threatened the peace process.