Eight Colombian soldiers killed in clashes with rebels

May 1st, 2009 - 12:43 am ICT by IANS  

Bogota, April 30 (EFE) Eight Colombian soldiers were killed and another wounded in clashes with Leftist guerrillas in a mountainous area near the border with Venezuela, military sources said Thursday.
The gunbattle between an army unit and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) fighters occurred Wednesday in the El Templado region in the restive Caribbean province of La Guajira.

“We deeply regret” the deaths, Defence Minister Juan Manuel Santos said, adding that an investigation into the incident has been under way.

The FARC, which has battled a succession of Colombian governments since the mid-1960s, once had nearly 20,000 combatants, but is now estimated to number around 9,000.

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