BOGOTA – At least three people were killed and 20 others, including two police officers, were wounded when FARC guerrillas attacked the southwestern Colombian town of Corinto over the weekend, officials said.
A 17-year-old boy, a 19-year-old woman and a 40-year-old man, all residents of the town, were killed in the attack on Sunday, Corinto Mayor Gilberto Muñoz said.
Eight of the 18 wounded civilians were taken to hospitals in Cali, the capital of neighboring Valle del Cauca province, the mayor said.
This was the fourth attack this year by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, on Corinto, which is in Cauca province.
The guerrilla attack was repelled by the police officers stationed in the town, located some 500 kilometers (311 miles) from Bogota.
Police spokesmen in Popayan, the capital of Cauca, told reporters that the rebels belonged to the FARC’s 6th Front.
The guerrillas tried to occupy the town, most of whose residents are Indians, but fled into the mountains when they saw the military aircraft providing support for ground troops sent to pursue the attackers.
The civilians killed in the attack were caught in the crossfire between the guerrillas and police, the Bogota daily El Tiempo reported on its Web site.
Many of the civilians were wounded by shrapnel from grenades thrown by the rebels. One grenade landed in a grocery store.
The FARC, Colombia’s oldest and largest leftist guerrilla group, was founded in 1964, has an estimated 8,000 to 17,000 fighters and operates across a large swath of this Andean nation. EFE