BOGOTA, COLOMBIA (BNO NEWS) -- More than 100 suspected militants attacked a group of Colombian service members in the northern region of the country on Monday morning, killing 12 and injuring several others, defense officials said on Tuesday.
The attack occurred at around 6 a.m. local time in the rural area of Majayura, located in Colombia's department of La Guajira, which is near the Venezuelan border and some 770 kilometers (478 miles) northeast of Bogota, the country's capital.
Colombia's National Army Commander General Sergio Mantilla told a local radio station that between 100 and 120 suspected militants belonging to the 59th front of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, commonly known as FARC, carried out the attack.
The ministry of national defense condemned the attack and identified the fallen service members as 10 soldiers, a corporal and a sergeant. "The Ministry of Defense is supporting the families of the fallen soldiers and is reiterating its full support for them," the ministry said in a statement.
Four soldiers were also injured, although their conditions were not immediately known. Mantilla said the FARC militants are believed to have crossed the border from Venezuela before carrying out the attack. They fled back to the neighboring country when they carried out the assault.
On Tuesday last week, a car bomb exploded near a vehicle carrying former Interior Minister Fernando Londoņo in the northern area of Colombia's capital Bogota. The blast seriously damaged nearby vehicles, including the armored vehicle which Londoņo was in, killing two people and injuring 25 others, including Londoņo. Police said there was 'convincing evidence' that the attack was carried out by FARC rebels.
Earlier that same day, about six hours before the attack on Londoņo, a group of soldiers noticed a suspicious vehicle which had been abandoned in the Eduardo Santos neighborhood of Bogota. The bomb squad arrived and successfully dismantled an explosive device inside, which is believed to have targeted a nearby police station. One suspect was arrested.
FARC, which is dedicated to the violent overthrow of Colombia's democratically-elected government, was formed in 1964 and is structured as a military organization, with approximately 10,000 armed guerillas organized into seven "blocs," 68 numbered "Fronts", nine named "Fronts," and four urban "militias." The group is present in 24 of the 32 departments of the South American country.
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