9 soldiers killed in alleged rebel attack in northeast Colombia

BOGOTA, March 30 (NNN-XINHUA) — At least nine soldiers were killed in an alleged rebel attack in northeast Colombia on Wednesday, President Gustavo Petro confirmed.

The attack was carried out by alleged members of the National Liberation Army (ELN) on a military base in the department of North Santander.

On social media, Petro expressed his “total repudiation for the attack” against seven soldiers and two non-commissioned officers, “murdered by those who today are decidedly distanced from peace and the people.”

The president immediately called for a consultation with the government delegation participating in peace talks with the rebel group to analyze the incident that could potentially jeopardize the negotiations.

“I have summoned the government delegation to the peace talks with the ELN, and the guarantor and accompanying countries for consultation. A peace process must be serious and responsible to the Colombian society,” he wrote.

Defense Minister Ivan Velasquez also rejected the attack. “We reject the violent attack allegedly perpetrated by the ELN in North Santander,” he said on social media.

The Colombian Army also condemned the attack that left another eight soldiers wounded, and confirmed it was continuing its military offensive against the guerrillas. — NNN-XINHUA


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