Colombian authorities reported an explosives attack against a military base Wednesday. According to the Colombian government, the attack was allegedly carried out by the National Liberation Army (ELN) and left nine people dead and eight others wounded, all military.
The Colombian Army’s military base is located in an area known as Catatumbo. According to the Ministry of Defense, the wounded soldiers were taken to the nearest medical center. Both Colombian President Gustavo Petro and the minister of defense have condemned the attack on the military base.
Repudio total al ataque al pelotón del Ejército en el Catatumbo, 7 soldados que prestaban su servicio militar y 2 suboficiales, soldados de la Nación y del gobierno del cambio, asesinados por quienes hoy estan absolutamente alejados de la paz y del pueblo.
— Gustavo Petro (@petrogustavo) March 29, 2023
According to information published by the Colombian newspaper El Espectador, the military forces in the area are in charge of guarding energy infrastructure. Per local media reports, the soldiers were carrying out their duties in the area when they were ambushed by an armed group using explosive devices.
Petro's government is striving to reach a ceasefire with Colombia's armed guerrillas in its "Total Peace" project. In November 2022, the Government and the ELN agreed to a series of meetings to put an end to the violence, which ended up failing in early March when the ELN announced that it would continue with its armed activity.