BOGOTA-   An explosives blast killed at least eight Colombian police officers Wednesday in northwest Colombia, where armed drug smugglers are active, officials said. “The partial toll is eight policemen killed and a vehicle... affected,” the police said in a statement. The bomb went off early Wednesday in the town of San Pedro de Uraba, it said. The police team had been escorting officials tasked with handing back land to rural residents who were displaced by Colombia’s half-century long conflict between the government and Marxist FARC rebels, which came to an end under a November 2016 peace deal.–AFP 

The police statement noted that the area where the blast occurred has seen operations by the so-called Golfo Clan, the country’s biggest drug-trafficking organization. 

Colombian security forces have kept up intense pressure on the group, which has attracted a number of former ultra-right-wing paramilitaries who had fought the FARC during the conflict.