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Violence mars presidential poll

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-06-21

At least 10 security personnel and six guerilla insurgents were killed in three separate attacks as Colombians voted in Sunday's presidential election.

REUTERS - Violence on election day in Colombia killed 10 members of the security forces and six leftist guerillas in three attacks on Sunday while millions of voters cast ballots for the next president, officials said.

Violence has declined since President Alvaro Uribe launched a U.S.-backed offensive against illegal armed groups in 2002, but fighting remains common in Latin America’s No. 4 oil producer, which is struggling to shake off a four-decade war.
 
The Defense Ministry said seven police died in a landmine explosion in Norte de Santander state and it blamed National Liberation Army rebels, while the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) killed three soldiers in Meta province.
 
In a separate clash in Meta, east of the capital Bogota, troops said they killed six FARC guerrillas.
 
Uribe steps down in August after two terms marked by a hard-line stance against guerrillas, drug barons and paramilitaries. Improved security has drawn increasing foreign investment in the country’s oil and mining sectors.
 
Former defense minister Juan Manuel Santos and independent Antanas Mockus faced off on Sunday to take over from the popular incumbent in an election run-off with Santos holding a commanding lead in opinion polls.

 

Date created : 2010-06-20

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