colombian-panamanian-border-capurganaQ24N (Prensa Latina) The Panamanian government has ordered troops to step up their presence in the Darien zone, after an attack by a Colombian criminal gang on a National Border Service (Senafront) check-point.

In a statement, the government said that the attack yesterday on the Binational Base of Alto Limón, had initiated the immediate response of its military units and air force, but that no injuries or damage had occurred.

The director of the National Border Service, Cristian Hayer, confirmed the fact that members of the Úsuga gang, who rammed into the border post, had been pursued by police agents and the Colombian army.

He said that the attackers had used rifles, grenades and mortars, and despite patrolling for several hours, the athorities had only found cases and other ammunition, but none of the criminals.

Media reports state that after being made aware of the incident, the Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela, sent two National Air Service helicopters and a surgeon to the area.

According to official sources, the Úsuga gang is considered the largest and best organized criminal gang in Colombia, and an important drug cartel on the continent.

Panamanian police data has revealed that Colombia has increased its drug production by 80 percent, forcing the Panamanian’s to strengthen efforts against drug crime in their country.

The Panamanian Security Minister Rodolfo Aguilera, has recently stated that he meets every six months with the Colombian authorities as part of the bi-national border commission, which has also been activated with Costa Rica.

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