January 14, 2018 / 9:21 PM / a month ago

Pumping on Colombia's Transandino pipeline halted after bomb attack

BOGOTA (Reuters) - Pumping on Colombia’s southern Transandino pipeline was halted on Sunday after a bomb attack by the ELN rebels spilled crude into a river, state-run oil company Ecopetrol and the military said.

The National Liberation Army (ELN) is in the midst of a renewed offensive against the military and oil infrastructure, after the end of a months-long ceasefire amid peace talks to end more than 53 years of war.

The attack, which occurred late on Saturday in Mallama municipality in Narino province, has not affected exports or crude production at fields in the southern jungle zone along the border with Ecuador, Ecopetrol said.

The 306-kilometer (109-mile) Transandino has the capacity to transport 85,000 barrels of crude per day.

The ELN, which has some 2,000 fighters, has killed two police officers and one soldier in attacks since the ceasefire ended on Jan. 9. The group on Saturday kidnapped an Ecopetrol contractor repairing damage to the Cano-Limon pipeline, also bombed by the ELN, the army said.

President Juan Manuel Santos has recalled the head of the government’s negotiating team at the peace talks in Quito back to Bogota to discuss the future of talks.

Reporting by Luis Jaime Acosta; Writing by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Sandra Maler

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