One police officer was killed by presumed members of the guerrilla group FARC during a hostage retrieval operation in northeastern department of Colombia, various media reported.
The policeman, a former assistant director of the local anti-kidnapping unit Gaula, suffered multiple injuries from the confrontation with kidnappers, and died shortly thereafter in a local hospital. The hostage was safely retrieved during the operation.
According to authorities, the police were provided with information regarding the hostage’s location last week and determined that the kidnappers planned to assassinate their victim because members of his family had not paid a $300,000 ransom.
The hostage was kidnapped on May 29 by alleged members of the FARC’s 33rd Front.
President Juan Manuel Santos lamented the death of the official, but also praised the efforts of local authorities and the Gaula unit.
“Here we must note that the Gaula Police unit has had 37 rescues this year, and not a single hostage has been affected, or even hurt,” said Santos.