Photo: ELN guerrillas
Four police officers were killed and another wounded on Tuesday in an attack by leftist ELN guerrillas in the northeastern province of Arauca, Colombia’s Defense Ministry said.
The rebels used explosives to attack the vehicle in which five police were riding as they drove through the town of Saravena, one of the fiefdoms of the National Liberation Army, or ELN.
The police had received a “fake (telephone) tip” and upon arriving at the site mentioned by the tipster were ambushed by the rebels, who detonated the explosives, wounding the officers and then killing four of them execution style,” Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon said in an appearance in Congress.
The dead officers were identified as Cpl. Libardo Fabio Chachon Delgado and patrolmen Jose Dario Acuña Suarez, Yan Carlos Alviz Armenta and Alejandro David Maestre Alvarez.
The ELN, Colombia’s second-largest guerrilla organization with some 1,500 members, according to official reports, wants to begin peace talks with the government like those under way for the past 18 months in Havana between Bogota and the much larger Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, rebel group.