Unidentified assailants detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) in Fortul (Arauca department) on Wednesday, August 21. The device reportedly detonated near a police station at approximately 17:00 (local time), wounding at least six officers and civilians and caused property damage.
As of Thursday, August 21, no group has claimed responsibility for the attack. However, ELN dissidents are active in the region. Further attacks are possible in Arauca in the near term.
Peace talks between the government and the ELN, which has conducted an ongoing armed insurgency since the 1960s, were put on hold after President Ivan Duque assumed power in 2018. President Duque has previously said he will only resume negotiations with the ELN once the group ceases all attacks and releases all hostages.
Due to the presence of a number of armed groups - including organized crime groups, drug cartels, right-wing militias, and local gangs, in addition to the ELN - some Western governments advise against travel to various parts of the country, including the Venezuelan border region.
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