Seven soldiers were killed and four others wounded overnight in an ambush by leftist FARC guerrillas in southwestern Colombia, according to officials. The FARC remains the largest guerrilla group operating in Colombia.
AFP - Seven soldiers were killed and four others wounded overnight in an ambush by leftist FARC guerrillas in southwestern Colombia, a senior regional official told AFP on Sunday.
Government secretary Fabio Trujillo of Narino, the Colombian department bordering Ecuador, said the attack on an army patrol by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebels took place overnight Saturday into Sunday in rural Samaniego municipality.
The ambush occured at almost the same time as an explosive device was triggered near the Samaniego police quarters, slightly wounding two officers, Trujillo added.
The two attacks were the work of guerrillas belonging to FARC's Mariscal Sucre front, which with the National Liberation Army (ELN) has a "strong" presence in the region, Trujillo said.
On Saturday, two more military personnel were killed and two others wounded in the same department in an attack against a river patrol.
President Alvaro Uribe condemned the latest ambush, telling journalists in Medellin, 400 kilometers (250 miles) northwest of Bogota, that the FARC were "terrorists who cowardly attack with explosives."
Founded in 1964, the FARC remains the largest guerrilla group operating in Colombia, with some 7,000 to 8,000 fighters in its ranks.
Clashes between the rebels and Colombian forces are common, and Bogota has put increased pressure on FARC in a bid to free the hundreds of hostages the rebels are holding, including some 22 military and police that they are seeking to swap for about 500 guerrillas held in Colombian and US jails.
In mid-March the Colombian army killed 13 suspected FARC rebels and captured another 13 in operations in the south and central part of the country.
In February FARC killed six soldiers in an attack in southern Colombia, hurling grenades and firing automatic rifles against an army patrol in Cauca department south of Bogota.
That attack came just days after the FARC released six hostages to a peace group led by Senator Piedad Cordoba.
Date created : 2009-05-11