Guerrillas of Colombia’s second largest rebel group ELN have captured a Colombian soldier at a rebel checkpoint in the north of the country, according to the military.
The National Army’s 7th Division said in a press statement that Second Corporal Jair de Jesus Villar was captured by the ELN near the town of Segovia, Antioquia where the guerrillas had set up a roadblock.
Villar and a colleague stumbled upon the roadblock while traveling in civilian, unarmed and on motorbikes to inspect the site where ELN guerrillas had attacked a power plant just before.
Villar’s colleague was able to circumvent the roadblock, but the second corporal was captured by the guerrillas, allegedly belonging to the ELN’s Jose Antonio Galan front.
“The safety and integrity of the officer is the responsibility of the terrorist organization and we demand his immediate return,” the National Army said.
The military sent reinforcements to the region to search for their missing colleague and carry out the inspection of damage at the power plant.
The ELN is currently engaged in preliminary peace talks with the administration of President Juan Manuel Santos. However, as talks drag on the warring parties continue to fight each other.