Quito, Mar 21 (AP) Ecuador’s military says three soldiers have been killed and seven others injured by a homemade explosive while they were patrolling the country’s northern border with Colombia.

The armed forces’ statement doesn’t say who was behind yesterday’s ambush. But it follows a number of attacks and bombings against security forces this year that authorities have attributed to increased activity by drug-trafficking gangs.

This week President Lenin Moreno announced he was sending 12,000 troops to boost security along the border. That represents about 10 per cent of the tiny nation’s police officers and troops.

Ecuador is a major transit zone for Colombian-produced cocaine that departs in small boats from the Pacifica coastline of South America up to Central America and onto the US. (AP) CK 03210304

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.