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Colombia: 3 judicial officials slain in holdout rebel ambush

AP  |  Bogota 

Three Colombian judicial investigators were killed when their vehicle was ambushed along the country's southern border with by a dissident rebel group, authorities said.

Officials said two of the men were incinerated to death when their car was torched by holdout guerrillas from the demobilized Revolutionary Armed Forces of yesterday.

The same group has been behind a wave of drug-related violence, including the March kidnapping of three Ecuadorean newspaper workers who were later found slain. It is led by a former mid-level commander, Walter Arizala, better known by his alias Guacho, who is the target of an intense military manhunt backed by the US.

It's not clear what the judicial workers were investigating. The three worked for the chief prosecutor's office in Colombia's volatile Narino state, which is home to Colombia's largest harvest of illegal coca crops. Land dedicated to production of the raw ingredient used to make cocaine skyrocketed last year to 209,000 hectares -- the largest amount on record, according to a recent report.

Officials identified one of those killed as Willington Montenegro, a 24-year veteran of the chief prosecutor's office and a by training who had been working as an explosives expert. He was accompanied by another explosives expert and a

said he will honor their memory by redoubling efforts to attack criminal groups in the volatile area.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, July 12 2018. 08:10 IST