Ecuador on Thursday called on Colombia to enforce security along the countries’ common border after an allegedly Colombian illegal armed group reportedly killed an Ecuadorean soldier at a border crossing.
The incident which took place in the Ecuadorean border province of Sucumbios. An as of yet unidentified group opened fire on a military patrol near the border point between Ecuador and Colombia. The soldier was killed in combat that followed.
It is not yet clear as to who is responsible for the attack as both leftist rebel groups like the FARC and drug trafficking groups like the Rastrojos operate in the area of the attack. A Colombian army division commander across the border told Associated Press the attackers were members of the 48th Front of the FARC.
The Ecuadorean government expressed “outrage” at the death of the soldier and requested that the Colombian government strengthen security along the border to prevent guerrillas and paramilitaries from navigating their way between the countries so easily.
“We know that they have been doing this already, but these acts indicate that it hasn’t been enough. We need an increased presence and control from the Colombian government over their border so there will be no incursions of illegal armed forces on our territory,” said Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño at a press conference.
Media reports that while five of the unidentified assailants were killed in the fire fight, one Ecuadorean lieutenant also died. News sources also alleged that two of the assailants were captured after the fight.