BOGOTA – Five Colombian soldiers were killed and 10 others were injured in an ambush attack on a convoy in a rural area near the north-western city of Cucuta, close to the Venezuelan border, Colombia’s army said on Tuesday.
General Ricardo Gomez told Colombia’s Caracol Radio that an explosive device detonated by an unknown perpetrator blasted the convoy of army trucks, which was traveling north along the Cucuta-Tibu highway in the North Santander region of the country.
The first vehicle was struck by the blast in what the military official described as “an act of cowardice that completely violated international human rights.”
The injured soldiers were taken to hospitals in Cucuta.
Gomez said it was likely that guerrillas from the militant leftist rebel group, the National Liberation Army (ELN), were behind the assault, given they have a known presence in the area.
The ELN, considered by Colombia, the United States and the European Union to be a terrorist organization, has been involved in peace negotiations with the government.
But the talks, which were being held in the Ecuadorian capital Quito, were suspended in early January following a spate of fresh attacks.