DEA agent killed in Colombia during apparent robbery attempt

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Updated at 12:51 p.m. ET

BOGOTA, Colombia A DEA agent has died in an apparent robbery attempt in Colombia, U.S. Ambassador Michael McKinley said Friday. Colombian authorities said the American agent was stabbed four times.

McKinley told local Radio Caracol that the robbery attempt occurred after the anti-drug agent left a meeting with friends at a Bogota restaurant and got into a taxi.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration said in a statement from Washington that Special Agent James "Terry" Watson was assigned to the DEA office in Cartagena, Colombia, but was on temporary assignment in Bogota.

"We are all saddened by this devastating loss of a member of the DEA family," DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart said in the statement. "Terry was a brave and talented DEA special agent who served our agency for 13 years. These are the worst days for anyone in law enforcement and we grieve Terry's loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with Terry's wife and family, and we will forever carry his memory in our hearts."

Gen. Jose Roberto Leon, director of Colombia's National Police, said Watson was 43. He had worked in the country for about a year and a half.

Colombian authorities did not say where Watson was from in the United States.

Col. Camilo Cabana of the National Police said that the taxi Watson was riding in was intercepted by another cab about three blocks from the restaurant. Two men got out and tried to pull the American out of the vehicle, stabbing him three times in the chest and once in the leg, Cabana said.

The assailants abandoned the agent in the street, where he was found shortly afterward by a police patrol. Watson was taken to a clinic several blocks away, but had already died.

Police were reviewing area security cameras in hopes of identifying the assailants. The police department has offered a reward of 50 million pesos ($25,800) for information leading to the arrest of those responsible.

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