BOGOTA: An explosives attack on a police vehicle in southwestern Colombia leaves 8 officers dead, Colombian President Gustavo Petro said on Friday.
"I condemn the explosive attack that killed eight police officers in Huila (Department). ... These actions indicate clear sabotage of peace," Petro said on Twitter.
Local broadcaster BLU Radio cited the police as saying that the explosives detonated when the police car carrying the said officers was driving by. It is yet unknown who was behind the attacks, but local media report that the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia - People's Army, a guerrilla group, is operating in the region.
Petro, 62, took the presidential oath and was sworn in in a ceremony at Bolivar Square in Colombia's capital, Bogota, on August 7. A former guerrilla and ex-mayor of Bogota, he is the first leftist leader in Colombia's modern history.
He has promised to solve the problem of poverty and redistribute the tax burden on more affluent residents, as well as to set out to dialogue with guerrilla fighters. Petro's government has launched a negotiation process in Cuba with representatives of the National Liberation Army, a guerrilla group involved in the continuing Colombian conflict.
After Petro was sworn in, the largest drug gang in Colombia, the Gulf Clan (Clan del Golfo, also known as Gaitanist Self-Defense Forces of Colombia), announced a unilateral cessation of offensive hostilities as a gesture of goodwill to the new government and determination to join the peace process.