martes, 5 de febrero de 2013

Police station attacked in Colombia, Germans held

Authorities were investigating a bomb and gun attack on a police post in southern Colombia that killed a policeman on 4 February, although the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) were suspected as possible culprits, El Espectador reported on 5 February. Elements dressed in army uniforms were reported to have fired on the police post for 45 minutes and exploded a bomb at its entrance, in the Nátaga district in the department of Huila. The mayor of Nátaga told Colombia's national radio that the attack by "a group of heavily armed men" also damaged the local hospital. Colombia's other guerrilla force, the National Liberation Army (ELN) announced on 4 February that it held two individuals it identified as suspected German spies, El Espectador reported. These it stated were kidnapped weeks before in the countryside of the northern district of Catatumbo, while "in the weeks they have been detained they have been unable to justify their presence in the said territory, for which reason they are considered, so far, to be intelligence agents and will continue to be investigated." The ELN stated that nobody nor any institution had publicized their disappearance and warned "spies are not protected by International Humanitarian Law." The German Foreign Ministry confirmed the kidnapping but described the hostages as pensioners travelling in Colombia, EFE reported. President Juan Manuel Santos in turn called the ELN "liars" and said the Marxist rebels were responsible for the Germans' lives. He asked "who could imagine two Germans spying something or other here in Colombia. That is an excuse no reasonable person can accept or understand," Colombia's national radio reported on 4 February. The FARC were separately reported to have kidnapped two oil-sector employees in the southern department of Putumayo, Europa Press reported on 5 February citing Caracol. The two were identified as an electrician and a mechanic working for the firm MASA (Mecánicos Asociados), and reported taken in the Orito district, near Ecuador's frontier.

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