Heavy Fighting in Southern Colombia
News from Colombia |
on: Sunday, 30 November 2008
Intense combat between soldiers and leftwing FARC guerrillas is taking place in two municipalities in the southern Colombian region of Putumayo. The fighting, in Puerto Asis and Puerto Guzman, follows an ambush by the guerrillas of a group of police officers who were responding to reports that a FARC patrol has passed through the community of Muelle La Playa. It is feared that civilians have been caught in middle of the battles.
In the initial ambush, which occurred yesterday morning, at least one police officer was killed and three others, including the Putumayo chief of police, were wounded. Some reports say that at least 10 civilians may have been injured and another killed in the fighting which is now continuing in several places after Army reinforcements arrived.
The FARC have been particularly active in recent months despite claims by the Colombian authorities that the guerrillas are on the defensive. Combat reports indicate that they have successfully attacked the security forces on frequent occasions in recent months killing over 130 soldiers and shooting down two helicopters.