Five Killed by Suspected Guerrillas in Christmas Day Massacre

News from Colombia | on: Friday, 26 December 2008

A 15-year-old girl was among five people massacred on Christmas Day in the conflict-ridden Colombian region of Arauca according to local press reports. A pregnant woman was also wounded in the attack which occurred as the victims were driving to a family holiday home near the town of Arauquita. Reports from Colombia say that the deaths occurred when armed men travelling on motorcycles, thought to be members of the ELN guerrilla group, opened fire on the vehicle.

The department of Arauca, on Colombia's border with Venezuela, has been the scene of intense conflict in recent years with human rights abuses being perpetrated on an almost daily basis. The region is one of the last strongholds of the ELN guerrillas, the smaller of Colombia's two rebel groups. The larger FARC guerrilla movement, as well as the Colombian Army and army-backed paramilitary death squads are also active in the region.

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