At least nine Colombian soldiers have been killed in an armed attack carried out by ELN militants, the government says.
ELN kills nine Colombia troops in attack ahead of talks
Nine Colombian soldiers have been killed in an attack by guerrillas of the National Liberation Army near the country’s border with Venezuela, throwing peace negotiations between the rebel group and the government into question.
The attack, one of the most serious in recent months, took place in a rural area of El Carmen municipality in Colombia’s Norte de Santander province, an important region for growing coca and producing cocaine.
The government of Colombia’s President Gustavo Petro restarted peace talks with the ELN last year as part of a drive for total peace in the Andean country, where almost six decades of internal conflict have left at least 450,000 dead.
Petro has called a meeting with the government’s peace delegation as well as guarantor countries – which include Venezuela, Mexico and Chile, among others – he said on Twitter.