Gunmen kill seven people in house near Colombia’s Medellin

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Gunmen killed seven people in a house near the Colombian city of Medellin on Tuesday night, police said.

“At around 07:30 at night, here in the rural area of the municipality of Rionegro, a regrettable incident occurred in which seven people were killed,” local police officer Colonel Carlos Andres Martinez Romero said in a statement.

“Ten people carrying large weapons broke into a house” in the Cabeceras area, around 20 kilometers (12 miles) from Medellin, Martinez said.

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Police have offered a reward equivalent to around $12,000 for information leading to the perpetrators.

The military deployed a “plan to blockade the municipalities surrounding Cabeceras in order to locate the perpetrators”, the army said on social media platform X.

Authorities have not yet provided details of the victims’ identities.

The gunmen fled in a convoy of several cars and motorbikes, according to local media.

Images released by the Rionegro mayor’s office show several forensic experts working in the rain on an unpaved road.

“I have called a security council... to put a stop to this wave of violence,” Rionegro mayor Jorge Rivas said in a post on X.

This year, authorities have arrested several drug lords in Rionegro and the surrounding areas.

Powerful cartels such as the Clan del Golfo, the world’s leading cocaine producer, operate in the region, local rights groups say.

Colombia is the world’s largest cocaine producer, cultivating over 230,000 hectares of the main ingredient, the coca leaf, in 2022, according to the UN.

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