5 killed in assault on oil well in Colombia

Jul 4, 2012, 8:51 PM

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) – Colombian officials say attackers believed to be leftist rebels have killed five Colombian contractors for the state-owned oil company Ecopetrol at a well in a turbulent southern state.

Ecopetrol says in a statement that attackers used automatic weapons during the assault early Wednesday in Puerto Caicedo in Putumayo state, which borders Ecuador. Five workers died and three were wounded.

Ecopetrol says there have been more than 20 attacks this year by illegal armed groups on oil pipelines but this was the first on an oil well.

The Colombian army’s 27th Brigade is blaming the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia for the attack.

The rebels have been fighting the Colombian state for nearly five decades and frequently extort businesses in areas where they operate.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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5 killed in assault on oil well in Colombia