Seven police have been killed and another five wounded on Tuesday in an ambush. According to the government, the exceptionally bloody attack was carried out by rebel group FARC and neo-paramilitary group “Los Urabeños.”
The police were ambushed in the early hours of the morning when they were moving through a rural area by truck in the municipality of Montelibano in Cordoba.
The Defense Ministry informed in a press release that the dead police were executed while on the ground by “terrorists from FARC’s 58th Front and members of the Urabeños.”
Reports indicate that, at first, four of the policemen were missing and thought to have been kidnapped, but following a search of the area, the bodies of the missing policemen were found lifeless.
The murder of the policemen has been classified by the defense ministry as to be an act perpetrated by the FARC with close collaboration of the drug cartel the Urabeños, according to Defense Minister, Juan Carlos Pinzon.
“The country has to hunt down those FARC terrorists that are know allied with criminal groups, they tend to be the same thing, FARCbrim, as many have come to call them,” said Pinzon.
Police Director, General Rodolfo Palomino, announced a $50,000 award for information leading to the capture of those who executed the ambush.
According to local media, the attack comes at a time when police are on high alert due to “Plan Pistola,” an alleged operation of the Urabeños to kill policemen in the northwestern states of Cordoba and Antioquia.
The Urabeños’ “Plan Pistola” allegedly is the group’s retaliation for the state offensive being mounted against them in which dozens of leaders and members have been arrested and assets seized, reported Semana quoting intelligence sources.
So far this month, at least ten policemen have been killed in Cordoba and Antioquia.
President Juan Manuel Santos also condemned the attack adding that, “I gave instructions to General Palomino to go to the area of the attack, and I gave him and all the military commanders instructions to intensify the offensive that we should maintain against these organizations.”
Santos affirmed that the attack would “not stay in impunity.”
Both the FARC and Urabeños are active in the area where the attack took place. According to the local military, the two “former” rivals have agreed to a non-aggression pact to avoid violence harming their economic interest in drug trafficking and illegal mining.