People gather at the explosion site in front of Italian consulate in downtown Cairo, Egypt, July 11, 2015. A powerful explosion occurred in front of Italian consulate in downtown Cairo Saturday, killing one person and injuring four, state-run news agency MENA reported. (Xinhua/Pan Chaoyue) (cl)
People gather at the explosion site in front of Italian consulate in downtown Cairo, Egypt, July 11, 2015. A powerful explosion occurred in front of Italian consulate in downtown Cairo Saturday, killing one person and injuring four, state-run news agency MENA reported. (Xinhua/Pan Chaoyue) (cl)

Colombian President Ivan Duque on Thursday condemned the killing of two police officers in an ambush by alleged members of the National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrilla group in northern Bolivar department.

“We condemn a painful event, which occurred in the municipality of Norosi, where two policemen, two heroes of the country, were vilely murdered in the line of duty by terrorists who wanted to silence their territorial presence,” Duque said in Tumaco, a town in southwest Narino department, where he convened a security council with local authorities.

The president said those responsible for the crime are suspected members of the ELN, which operates in that region of the country, where organized crime is also rampant.

In January 2019, Duque’s government suspended peace talks with the ELN that were started by his predecessor Juan Manuel Santos, after the guerrilla group detonated a car bomb at a police academy in Bogota, killing 22 people.

The government has demanded that the guerrillas stop fighting and release hostages as a condition for resuming the talks, but the ELN has rejected.

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