LA PAZ, Oct. 22- Bolivian President Evo Morales on Tuesday denounced a military-style attack on a government coca plant eradication team, saying it was the work of foreign drug traffickers.
Saturday's ambush in the area of Apolo, some 442 km north of the capital La Paz, resembled a "military plan," he told a press conference in the southern town of Tarija.
Preliminary investigation points to the presence of foreign drug traffickers, who used local leaders, he said.
The government said three soldiers and a doctor were killed in the ambush, 14 people were shot and 15 were hurt with machetes and sticks.
The government will set up military checkpoints along the borders, especially near such remote coca-growing regions as Apolo, where there was no military presence until Saturday, said Morales.
There are designated coca-growing areas in Apolo and other regions, but also some illegal production. Morales said the eradication campaign will continue.
A total of 13 local residents were arrested in the clash, including leaders and coca producers.
Locals told the press that the military stormed the town and barged into homes and used tear gas against residents.