Colombian army chief Luis Ospina has faced various scandals since he took the role in August 2022 AFP

Colombia's president on Monday replaced the country's army chief, who had come under fire for deteriorating security and a scandal in which he allegedly put his wife's English teacher under surveillance out of jealousy.

According to a statement from the defense ministry, President Gustavo Petro had decided to replace General Luis Ospina with retired Major General Luis Emilio Cardozo Santamaria.

The statement said Cardozo's "vast experience and leadership... will be fundamental to continue strengthening the security and defense of the nation."

While no reason was given for Ospina's exit, it comes amid fierce criticism from both the opposition and experts over increased attacks against security forces and civilians by narcos and guerrilla groups.

Ospina has faced various scandals since he took the role in August 2022, after Petro came to power.

In 2023, the Attorney General's office opened an investigation into his alleged use of intelligence services for personal reasons.

Local media reported he had ordered the wiretapping of his wife's English teacher, out of jealousy.

Last week, local media reported he was also being probed for falsely accusing another general of having links to FARC rebel dissidents.

Colombia's army has spent more than half a century battling rebel groups and criminals linked to drug trafficking.

Petro's government has sought to negotiate with groups that did not join a 2016 peace deal between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), but the talks have faced multiple setbacks.

On Monday, two policemen were killed and seven other people wounded in gun and bomb attacks in the southwest of the country, which police sources attributed to Central General Staff (EMC) rebels who broke away from FARC after the deal.

Another group, the National Liberation Army (ELN), which has been engaged in stop-start peace talks with the government, said earlier this month it would resume kidnappings for ransom money as the government had not provided them with alternative funds.