9 killed in fight between Colombian army, rebels

February 28, 2012 11:30 am 

BOGOTA, Feb. 28 — At least five suspected members of the rebel Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) group and four Colombian army soldiers were killed after a confrontation in the southwestern department of Putumayo, the Colombian Army said on Monday.

The fight broke out on Sunday in a rural area of the Puerto Guzman municipality, but details of the incident were not confirmed until Monday, the army said in a statement, adding that the suspected FARC members had used an indigenous reservation as a shield of protection.

Based on the initial intelligence reports, five "narcotic-terrorists" were killed in the operation, said the report, adding that one of the dead is believed to be a leader of the FARC Front 32, but his identity could not immediately be confirmed.

In a separate incident, the FARC's Front 6 launched an attack early Monday on the town of Caldono in the southern province of Cauca. Last week, the rebel group killed one police officer and two soldiers in the same place.

Just before the violent events in Cauca last week, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos held an extraordinary security council session in the provincial capital of Popayan where he analyzed the anti-violence measures in the region with relevant military and police leaders.

"Cauca is going through a difficult time in matters of security. We are perfectly conscious about what is happening and we are going to see how we can strengthen security to protect people from the military confrontation," he told reporters after the meeting.(PNA/Xinhua)

FPV/FFC/ebp

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