Three police, one civilian killed in Colombia attack

Three police officers and a civilian were killed after a dawn ambush in southwestern Colombia on Tuesday blamed on leftist rebels, authorities said.

Officials said fighters with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) were responsible for the dawn attack in the town of Cartagena del Chaira, in Caqueta state.

The victims were taking part in a police operation to arrest a suspected drug dealer when they were gunned down, officials said.

Defense minister Juan Carlos Pinzon wrote on Twitter that "narcoterrorists from the FARC" were responsible for "ambushing and assassinating the three policemen in Caqueta."

President Juan Manuel Santos called the attack "the vile product of this senseless war that we are striving to end."

The violence flared despite continued peace talks between the FARC and the Colombian government, who since November 2012 have been in dialogue about putting an end to the mutual hostilities.