Ecuadoran soldier dies after blast on Colombia border

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QUITO, April 6, 2018 (BSS/AFP) – An Ecuadoran soldier died Thursday from wounds sustained in a roadside bomb blast two weeks ago on the border with Colombia, Ecuadoran President Lenin Moreno said, calling the explosion a “terrorist act.”

He said on Twitter that the corporal was being treated in a military hospital when he succumbed to his grievous injuries, which had resulted in both his legs being amputated.

“A hug of solidarity to his family,” Moreno tweeted.

The death took to four the number of soldiers killed in the March 20 blast, which occurred near the border town of Mataje. A dozen others were wounded.

Ecuador has since January been confronted with an unusual wave of attacks directed at its security forces.

The government blames dissident rebels with Colombia’s former FARC guerrilla group which has disbanded and become a political party following a landmark 2016 peace deal.

An Ecuadoran media team comprising a reporter, a photographer and a driver were abducted last week in Mataje.

Quito has stepped up the military presence in the region, and has reinforced cooperation with Colombia to try to quell the border violence. But the task is a difficult one, with dense jungle providing cover to insurgents.

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