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Rebel attacks delay Colombia's new power link with Ecuador

Oct 10, 2007 - EFE

Colombia's leftist FARC rebels knocked down four pylons of a new line of the electrical interconnection system between their country and neighboring Ecuador, whose inauguration had been scheduled for November, authorities said Wednesday.

The attack occurred Tuesday in Huila province, some 456 kilometers (285 miles) southwest of the Colombian capital.

According to the commander of the Colombian army's 9th Brigade, Col. Alfonso Lasprilla Villamizar, the pylons may have been downed with a high explosive known as anfo.

The guerrillas also planted anti-personnel mines in the vicinity of the pylons.

The new link to Ecuador, a 230-kilovolt, double-circuit transmission line that spans 378.6 kilometers (235 miles) and has 787 pylons, is being built by municipally owned Empresa de Energia de Bogota.

According to figures from power company Interconexion Electrica, 56 pylons of the interconnection system had been knocked down in Colombia in 2007 prior to Tuesday's attacks.

Due to the attack and the damage caused to the network's infrastructure, the new line - the third linking the two countries - will not be inaugurated until the beginning of 2008. EFE