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FARC attack on island scares Colombia tour agency

November 24, 2014

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Colombia’s biggest tour operator is ceasing services to a Pacific Ocean island popular with foreign tourists and scuba divers after a surprise deadly attack by leftist rebels.

Guerrillas belonging to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia launched a stealth amphibious attack on the tiny Gorgona Island early Saturday morning. The island’s police commander was killed and six officers were injured during the hour-long firefight, which came as a shock to vacationing European tourists.

The attack was the first to be made on the normally paradisiacal, palm-fringed island located 35 kilometers (22 miles) from the Colombian mainland.

Colombia’s National Parks administration said Aviatur requested suspension of its contract to provide lodging and other services until the island’s security can be guaranteed. Aviatur declined to comment.