Spaniard Antonio Gomez Gomez was shot to death in northern Colombia when he resisted two assailants who were trying to steal his cell phone, a Spanish diplomat told Efe on Thursday.

The incident occurred on Wednesday night in Puerto Colombia, a municipality near Barranquilla where the man had apparently been living for several years, according to the Spanish consul in Cartagena, Juan Antonio Martinez-Cattaneo.

Evidently, the consul added, "some motorists followed the attackers and it seems that they have been arrested."

The victim, who was in his mid-50s, according to the diplomat, had never registered with the consulate.

At present, the consulate is taking the necessary steps with the family to be able to transport the body back home "as soon as possible."

Barranquilla's El Heraldo newspaper reported on its Web page that Gomez Gomez had lived for three years in Puerto Colombia and last year had married a Colombian woman.

In Colombia, the number of murder cases linked to cell phone robberies has increased recently, leading the authorities to launch a campaign to raise awareness among the public not to buy stolen phones and to report any thefts.

On June 18 in the northern part of Bogota, attorney Juan Guillermo Gomez, 25, was killed by criminals who were trying to steal his cell phone in an exclusive neighborhood.

The attackers accosted the young man, who was preparing to travel to the United States for post-graduate studies at Harvard University, and fatally stabbed him in the chest. EFE