Police Station Attacked, Killing Two Officers and Injuring Six More

(RepublicanDaily.org) – Violence has erupted in Colombia’s southwestern region, after a local guerilla group conducted attacks on local authorities, killing two policemen and two other people.

The guerilla group, identified as the Central General Staff (EMC), is a rebel group that broke away from the FARC Marxist guerrillas. FARC entered into a peace accord with the government in 2016 that saw more than 14,000 armed rebels stand down. Some affiliated groups such as the EMC, however, have refused to lay down their arms and honor the agreement.

Several members of the EMC staged an attack in town of Morales in Colombia’s Cauca department, targeting a local police station with cylinder bombs. Two policemen in the station, as well as two people who were being held in the jail cells inside, were killed in the attack. The rebels also bombed the city of Jamundi, injuring six people.

The EMC has undergone a shift within the organization – the group was earlier engaged in peace talks with the government, but a segment of it splintered off, led by guerilla leader Ivan Mordisco. Mordisco stepped away from talks in April, and his group has instead conducted attacks against military and police, often with collateral damage. An attack just days before the violence in Morales and Jamundi resulted in the death of an 11-year-old child. Rebels also struck in Valle del Cauca, a neighboring department in the north, detonating explosives strapped to a motorcycle. Three of the four injured victims in the explosion were children. The government has continued talks with the other part of the EMC that is still currently committed to the peace process.

In response to the bombings, the Colombian government has sent more troops to the region. An inspection of the streets in Morales revealed even more explosive devices scattered all throughout town.

The EMC is the third largest armed rebel group in the country, boasting a roster of around 5,000 militiamen.

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