Some 240 Colombians have been forced to flee violence from unidentified armed groups, a report from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs revealed Sunday.
According to the report, “at least 60 nuclear families, around 240 people, were displaced from the towns Buena Suerte, La Laguna and Belgica” in the northern state of Santander.
“The fighting occurred in the middle of residential areas and the community’s education center, violating human rights and infracting International Humanitarian law,” the report continued.
At least seven homes were hit with bullets and explosives, the U.N. report found.
School in the area was also suspended to protect children from the violence.
According to the report, most of the families have returned to their homes while authorities work out how to address the problem.
The latest U.N. alert comes as violence in Colombia continues to escalate, particularly in areas where members of the Armed Revolutionary Forces of Colombia, FARC, have demobilized.
While the Colombian government has insisted paramilitary groups are no longer a problem, the targeted murder of social leaders has raised alarms.
In March, Todd Howland, the representative of the U.N. high commissioner for human rights in Colombia, warned: "There is a pattern here relative to where the killings are occurring. FARC's leaving these areas has really complicated the lives of (human rights) leaders."
According to Carlos Alfonso Negret, the Human Rights Ombudsman of Colombia, nearly 200 social leaders have been murdered in Colombia since the beginning of 2016.
An estimated 7 million people have been displaced across Colombia, mostly from rural areas, which have become battlefields for over half of a century of fighting between guerrilla rebels, state armed forces and their unofficial allies, the paramilitaries.