Eight police officers killed in Colombia’s deadliest attack since Petro’s inauguration

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Eight police officers were killed in an explosive attack in western Colombia on Friday, Colombian President Gustavo Petro said as he reported on the deadliest attack on security forces since he took office, vowing to end the conflict. nearly 60 years in the country.

Petro, a former member of the M-19 guerrilla, has pledged to seek “total peace” by resuming talks with leftist ELN rebels, extending a 2016 peace deal with former FARC fighters to those who reject it, and negotiating the surrender of criminal gangs in exchange for reduced sentences.

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“I strongly repudiate the explosives attack in San Luis, Huila, where eight policemen were killed. Solidarity with their families,” Petro said on Twitter. “These acts are a clear sabotage of total peace. I asked the authorities to go to the area to take over the investigation.”

Police sources said the officers were killed when the vehicle they were traveling in was hit by explosives.

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Petro did not name the perpetrators of the attack, but so-called dissidents from the now-demobilized Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) operate in the area, according to security sources.

Dissident groups reject the peace deal negotiated by their former leadership and count some 2,400 fighters in their ranks, according to the government.

Several well-known dissident commanders have been killed recently, many in fighting across the border in Venezuela.

The Colombian conflict between the government, left-wing guerrillas, right-wing paramilitaries and drug trafficking gangs killed at least 450,000 people between 1985 and 2018 alone.

Source: CNN Brasil

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