Three Colombian soldiers perished on Monday morning, after coming across a minefield in the northeastern part of the country, reports local media.
The acts occurred in the rural area of Tibu, in the volatile Catatumbo region of the Norte de Santander state, along the border of Venezuela. The ELN, Colombia’s second largest rebel group, and various paramilitary organizations also operate in the region, reports national newspaper El Espectador.
The bodies of the three soldiers will be flown to the capital of Norte de Santander, Cucuta, where they will be delivered to their families.
This is the first time since the FARC declared a second round election cease-fire that soldiers have been affected by a particular action of the FARC, according to national radio RCN.
The ceasefire was announced by the FARC’s commander-in-chief, “Timochenko,” in an open letter directed to former presidential candidate Oscar Ivan Zuluaga who has been critical of ongoing peace talks between the group and the administration of President Juan Manuel Santos, who just won reelection on June 15.
“Our units are aware that the suspension of offensive actions against enemy forces and state infrastructure from midnight Monday until midnight June 30,” the FARC chief said in a letter published on the guerrillas’ website.
Government and rebel negotiators have been talking since late 2012 in Havana, Cuba to seek a negotiated end to a 40-year-long conflict that has left more than 220,000 Colombians killed and millions displaced.