Two Colombian police officers died on Saturday when some suspects bombed their car, then threw grenades and sprayed the car with gunfire, local authorities report.
Officers Jorge Andres Quintero, 31, and Jhoan Sebastian Rodriguez, 25, were near the town of Caldono, in southwestern Colombia, when their vehicle was “attacked with an explosive,” the police said in a statement. They were on their way to pick up a man detained at a nearby police station.
The statement though not pointing at anyone, in particular, did imply that guerrillas formerly with the FARC rebel group are active in the area and may be to blame.
Commander Colonel Edgar Orlando Rodriguez of the Cauca police stated at a press conference that after the bombing the car was hit by “rifles bursts and fragmentation grenades.”
President Juan Manuel Santos condemned the “cowardly murder” of the officers on Twitter, and vowed that “those responsible will pay.”
The 2016 peace deal between the Santos government and FARC led to the disarming of nearly 7,000 fighters. The ex-guerrillas became a political party using the same acronym.
However, some 1,100 rebels refused to join the peace deal. The dissidents are primarily involved in drug trafficking and illegal mining, officials say.
Colombian authorities remain up against criminal organizations, drug cartels with paramilitary links, and the National Liberation Army (ELN), the country’s last active guerilla group.