September 20, 2018 / 2:42 PM / 25 days ago

UPDATE 1-Continental Gold says three killed in Colombia attack

(Adds statement from army, background on dissident rebels)

Sept 20 (Reuters) - Canadian miner Continental Gold said on Thursday three of its geologists were killed in Colombia’s northern Antioquia province in an armed attack attributed to dissident members of a former rebel group.

Three others were also injured in the attack, a company spokesman told Reuters.

The incident took place in the town of Ochali in the municipality of Yaramul, Antioquia, which is located within the boundaries of Continental’s Berlin project, the company said.

The Colombian army said in a statement one person was missing after the incident, which it said was carried out by former members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebel group, which demobilized last year under a peace deal.

Some 12,000 FARC members, including 6,000 combatants, demobilized under the accord and the group is now a political party. However, more than 1,200 former FARC fighters did not lay down their arms and instead founded new groups dedicated largely to drug trafficking and illegal mining.

Energy installations and projects in the Andean country, especially oil pipelines, are regularly targeted by bombings and other attacks by rebels and dissidents.

Thursday’s attack was the second on Continental staff in as many weeks.

One engineer died and another was wounded on Sept. 5 after they were shot at while traveling near the company’s Buritica mine. (Reporting by John Benny and Laharee Chatterjee in Bengaluru and Julia Symmes Cobb in Bogota; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Dan Grebler)

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