World

Teenager among five killed in Colombia shooting

September 27, 2021

TUMACO -- Five people, including a teenager, were shot dead in south-west Colombia on Sunday in the latest of a series of attacks by armed groups, BBC reported.

Six other people were injured.

A military commander blamed a breakaway rebel group for the attack.

The government signed a peace deal with the left-wing Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc) five years ago but some Farc members, who did not agree with the deal, broke away and have continued being active.

Army officials said that armed men had opened fired at "a public venue" in a rural area outside the town of Tumaco. Local media described the venue as a discotheque.

Two people were killed at the scene and three more died later in hospital. Local media reported that one of those killed was a 15-year-old girl.

Major-General Álvaro Vicente Pérez of the Colombian army said a group of dissident former Farc rebels calling itself the Uriel Rendón Column was to blame.

In July, dissident Farc rebels claimed responsibility for an attack on a helicopter carrying President Iván Duque and a car bombing outside an army base in the northern city of Cúcuta, in which 36 people were injured.

Colombia's institute for the study of development and peace, Indepaz, keeps a tally of what it calls "massacres", attacks resulting in multiple fatalities.

It says that nationwide there have been 72 such "massacres" between 1 January and 21 September of this year, with a total of 258 people killed.

Nariño province, where the latest attack happened, is one of the worst hit by an increase in deadly attacks.

The area is one of the main coca-producing regions in Colombia and is fought over by a number of armed groups which want to control the trade in coca, the illegal crop used as a base for making cocaine.

Many of the Farc rebels who did not sign up to the 2016 peace deal and refused to lay down their arms have moved into drug trafficking and other criminal activities.

Maj-Gen Pérez said rivalry between the Uriel Rendón Column and other armed gangs appeared to have triggered this latest deadly shooting.

The governor of Nariño province said that dealing with the attacks was "beyond the capabilities" of the regional authorities, and appealed to the police and military for help.


September 27, 2021
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