Six other officers were injured, Cantillo said. All were members of a mobile unit operating out of the northeastern city of Bucaramanga.
 
Many of the groups fighting in Colombia are known to be financed by cocaine smuggling, with Colombia the source of 90 per cent of the cocaine consumed in the US.
 
The Colombian government's coca eradication drive is bolstered by about $600m in annual US aid.
 
Last year 26 military and police officers were killed while protecting crews manually uprooting coca bushes or applying the herbicide glyphosate from US-supplied crop-duster planes.