Colombia’s military has attributed a terrorist attack, which occurred in the Peralonso sector of the Arauca department, to the Colombian terror organization known as the ELN. The attack reportedly occurred during a control operation conducted by the 52nd Marine Infantry Battalion, a group designed to prevent fuel smuggling in the Arauca river.
According to the report, the battalion was attacked with an explosive device as they approached the riverside.
“Three members of the crew were injured. Of the injured, two marines suffered minor injuries and one non-commissioned officer has been hospitalized with serious injuries. Another marine is missing in the attack”, the report read.
The non-commissioned officer was transported to the Arauca municipality and is currently being given with specialized medical care. Meanwhile, the Colombian armed forces is now conducting search and rescue operations to locate the missing marine and to determine the whereabouts of those responsible.
This attack was condemned and classified as a terrorist act by the military, who assured that they would not be deterred.
‘We will continue with the implementation of operations to guarantee the safety of people and to counteract criminal actions from organized crime groups which operate in the area”, an army official said.
Vice admiral Ernesto Durán González, commander of the Colombian National Army echoed the sentiment.
“We won’t give in to terrorism. We will continue with offensive operations against the ELN to guarantee the safety in this area”, he said.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos is attempting to negotiate a peace accord with the ELN. Details of the negotiations have not been made public, but they are thought to be similar to the offer made to the FARC.