Seven Police Officers Wounded and 450 Civilians Displaced by FARC Attack

By Dialogo
July 06, 2012

An attack with homemade mortars launched by the FARC, a communist guerrilla group, on a remote town in southwestern Colombia left seven police officers wounded and around 450 civilians displaced, a police source told AFP on July 3.

Guerrillas from the FARC’s Front 60 attacked the small town of El Mango, in the department of Cauca (in southwestern Colombia), forcing its approximately 450 inhabitants to flee into the countryside, Colonel Ricardo Alarcón, the commander of the Cauca police, said by telephone.

“There are seven uniformed personnel wounded, four of them significantly, but not in serious condition,” specified Alarcón, who also said that the homemade mortars launched toward the town from the nearby mountains left between 17 and 22 houses destroyed or damaged.

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas launched the attack late Monday afternoon, and the police officers deployed in the town responded during five hours, Alarcón explained, noting that the uniformed personnel received air support and Army support by land, after which the subversives fell back.

He stated that the units retook control of the area on July 3.

According to Col. Alarcón, the attack was part of a FARC strategy to “ensure a strategic corridor for the movement to the southwestern part of the country of arms, explosives, and raw materials for coca processing.”