Colombia’s second-largest guerrilla group, the National Liberation Army (ELN), has killed 12 security forces members in the department Boyacá, as troops transported votes obtained from the country’s regional elections.
The ELN, attacked the soldiers with explosives and began shooting while in the Guicán municipality, part of an area belonging to the Uwa indigenous group. Among those killed were 11 soldiers and one police officer.
A total of three soldiers were injured, while two soldiers, a police patrolman, two election officials and one member of the indigenous group remain missing, the defense ministry said in a statement.
The Cuban-inspired ELN group has been holding exploratory peace talks with government representatives for more than a year.
President Juan Manuel Santos called regional elections held Sunday the safest in decades with a 60 percent reduction in violence compared with the previous vote in 2011.
“If the ELN believes that with this acts they are going to gain political space, they are wrong.” Santos reacted against the attack.
“This attack shows that ELN does not understand that this is a time for peace, not a time for war,” he added.