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Rebel attack leaves 300,000 in dark

Published 12/06/2015

Juan Manuel Santos said Farc guerrillas blew up an energy pylon and blacked out much of the region of Caqueta
Juan Manuel Santos said Farc guerrillas blew up an energy pylon and blacked out much of the region of Caqueta

Colombian officials are blaming rebels for an attack on the country's energy infrastructure that left hundreds of thousands of people without power.

President Juan Manuel Santos said the guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc) blew up an energy pylon and blacked out much of the southern region of Caqueta.

The blackout affected more than 300,000 people. Mr Santos called it an irrational terrorist act that was counter to the peace process.

The bombing is the latest in a series of recent attacks on Colombian infrastructure, including roads and a water plant.

Earlier this month, a similar attack plunged an impoverished city into the dark for more than two days, and this week, Farc forced several oil tanker drivers in the oil-producing region of Puerto Asis to dump their loads of crude, creating an environmental hazard.

Last month, Farc ended the unilateral ceasefire it declared five months earlier to give space for peace talks with the government.

Rebel groups have been meeting in Cuba with representatives of the Colombian government for the past two years for peace talks aimed at ending the decades-old conflict. The Havana talks have continued apparently unaffected by the escalations in Colombia.

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