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Cablegate: Farc Attack Kills 17 Police in Cordoba

VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBO #0213 3061849
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 021849Z NOV 06
FM AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0443
INFO RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 8408
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ NOV LIMA 4454
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO 5125
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC

UNCLAS BOGOTA 010213

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL PTER CO
SUBJECT: FARC ATTACK KILLS 17 POLICE IN CORDOBA

1. (U) In the early morning hours of 1 November, the FARC
attacked a police post in the small town of Tierradentro in
southeast Cordoba Department. In a six-hour siege, the
terrorists struck the police station with gunfire and
cylinder bombs, and then they ambushed trucks arriving with
reinforcements. A total of 17 police and two civilians were
killed. The attack was conducted by an estimated 450
fighters of the FARC's 18th, 58th, and 5th fronts. This is
the FARC's third attack in two weeks against public forces,
following car bombs in a military school in Bogota and a
brigade headquarters in Villavicencio, Meta Department.

2. (U) Such a large concentration of FARC fighters, and in
sustained combat, marks a departure from the guerrillas'
prevailing modus operandi of small units making hit-and-run
attacks. Located in a narcotrafficking corridor,
Tierradentro has a history with illegal armed groups: once a
stronghold of AUC paramilitaries, in 2005 it was a staging
point for their demobilization. When the OAS later informed
the Defense Minister of the rearmament of a small AUC
structure there, the Minister convoked a Security Council in
Tierradentro, announcing the establishment of its police
post. At the time the population reported FARC threats to
attack the station.
DRUCKER

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