Soldier, two rebels killed in Colombia

June 2nd, 2008 - 7:03 pm ICT by IANS  

Bogota, June 2 (IANS) A Colombian soldier and two Left-wing rebels have been killed in a clash near the border with Ecuador, EFE news agency reported Monday. According to the report, two insurgents of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and a soldier were killed in a clash near the Puerto Ospina village in Putumayo province Saturday.

The soldiers were conducting a combing operation near the village, some 700 km south of Bogota, when they were attacked by the rebels that led to a gunfight, the report said quoting army sources Sunday.

The rebels belonged to the FARC’s 48th Front.

The FARC, founded in 1964, has an estimated 17,000 fighters and is Colombia’s largest leftist guerrilla group.

President Alvaro Uribe’s administration has made fighting the FARC a top priority and has obtained large financial aid from the US for counterinsurgency operations.

The group’s founder Manuel Marulanda had died on March 26 and is now led by their leader Alfonso Cano.

The US and the European Union have listed the group as foreign terrorist organisation.

The group is currently holding 40 high-profile hostages whom they want to exchange for hundreds of jailed rebels.

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