At least two soldiers were killed and another 11 wounded in a minefield planted by the leftist guerrilla group FARC in the department of Cauca, southwest Colombia on Friday morning.
According to newspaper El Tiempo, troops entered a FARC camp after the Colombian Air Force bombed the area early Friday.
“We were carrying out an operation, an assault on a FARC camp in the village of La Palma. In the search our men unfortunately fell in a minefield where so far we have two dead, 11 wounded and two missing,” explained General Miguel Ernesto Perez Guarnizo, commander of the Army’s 3rd Division.
According to Caracol Radio, which reported three soldiers were killed, authorities believe two FARC leaders were killed in the Air Force attack and an unkown number of guerrilla fighters.
Several media reported that FARC leader, alias “Caliche,” was killed in the bombing. Early accounts suggest that authorities launched a major offensive after the air attack, consisting of 100 members of Colombia’s Armed Forces, against a base belonging to the FARC’s “Jacobo Arenas” Squadron, of which Caliche was the leader.
Friday’s attack was FARC’s third in a week. A total of 20 soldiers were killed and another 8 wounded in two separate FARC attacks on October 21 and 22.
The three attacks mark the single bloodiest week of the year for the Colombian Army and comes just days before Sunday’s local elections.