Three Police Officers Die in Guerrilla Ambush in Colombia

By Dialogo
July 11, 2012

Three police officers died and three others were wounded on July 9 in an ambush by the National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrilla group in the department of Casanare, in northeastern Colombia, the police announced.

The events occurred on the morning of July 9 near the hamlet of El Triunfo, in a rural area of the municipality of Aguazul (Casanare), when the insurgents attacked the uniformed personnel, part of a mobile squad of Carabineros (a specialized rural police force), who were conducting a patrol in the area.

“The police officers were performing the function of protecting and monitoring the roads in the region,” a police source specified to AFP.

The three uniformed personnel dead in Casanare bring to seven the number of police officers who have died in two days as a result of attacks by insurgent groups operating in Colombia.

On July 8, four police officers died in a rural area of the town of Segovia, in the department of Antioquia (in northwestern Colombia), when alleged Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas attacked them with explosives and rifle fire.

Four more uniformed personnel were wounded in a clash with the rebels that lasted over 40 minutes, until Army helicopter gunships were able to support them.

The FARC and the ELN are Colombia’s leading guerrilla groups, the former with around 9,200 men under arms and the latter with around 2,500, according to Defense Ministry figures.