At least three policemen were killed and another three injured when guerrillas attacked their patrol as it traveled between the rural municipalities of Samaniego and Tuquerres in Colombia’s southern Nariño department early Tuesday morning.
Nariño police commander Colonel William Montezuma said authorities had not yet ascertained whether FARC or ELN guerrillas were responsible for the attack. Both rebel organizations are active in the region.
A sub commander from the Nariño police department, Colonel Ignacio Fajardo Robles, said it was possible that the attack was a joint operation between FARC and ELN rebels.
Montezuma said the security situation in Nariño is under control and a delegation of police and soldiers has been dispatched to track down the culprits.
This latest attack brings the death toll of members of the armed forces due to guerrilla attacks to 27 in less than a week.
On Wednesday fourteen police officers were killed in the southern Caqueta department when their patrol vehicle went over a land mine. Guerrillas shot and burned to death those injured in the blast. Five soldiers were also killed in separate clashes Thursday with FARC guerrillas in the Norte de Santander and Nariño departments, on the borders with Venezuela and Ecuador respectively.
Following the spate of attacks, the administration of President Juan Manuel Santos has categorically ruled out peace talks with Colombian rebel organizations. Santos took office August 7 amid FARC peace overtures after eight years of rebel losses under former president Alvaro Uribe‘s hardline anti-insurgent policies.