A FARC roadside blitz in the north of Antioquia killed one police major, and wounded five on Wednesday. Police and military officials responded by shutting down the major roadway that connects the city of Medellin with the Caribbean coast.
The ambush occurred near the town of Yarumal, on the road that connects Medellin to the northern municipality of Caucasia and the Caribbean Coast.
According to Highway Police General Rodolfo Palomino, Major Felix Antonio Jaimes Villamil arrived to the scene with other policemen shortly after the initial attack. The regional commander of the highway police was killed by a hidden explosive device, and two other policemen were injured by shrapnel.
Local government official Paulo Yamid Pena told Caracol Radio that the initial attack occurred at three o’clock in the morning, when four member of the FARC’s 36th front approached the road. According to Pena, guerrillas stopped a tractor and two buses.
A 23-year-old driver and his assistant were burned in the attack. Another passenger was shot twice in the leg. All three are currently receiving care in local hospitals.
Pena said that despite the “strong presence of military and police in the area…it is difficult to provide security for the entire roadway.” He added that it has become increasingly common for small groups of guerrillas to blitz roadway, and then run for cover in the mountains.
President Juan Manuel Santos explicitly referred to the attack that killed a police officer Wednesday, saying he “condemns these terrorist acts in every way. Such acts of terrorism are a sign of weakness.”