An armed band intercepted a bus near the Ecuadoran border Monday, forced the passengers to descend, and then shot to death all who were on board, a police official said.

Police Inspector Hisper Rodriguez of the municipality of Patia in southwestern Colombia said 15 persons, 12 men and three women, were killed in the assault 250 miles southwest of Bogota, near the Ecuadoran border.He said the bus was traveling from Popayan, capital of the department of Cauca, to Piedra Sentada, 250 miles southwest of Bogota, after its passengers had made purchases.