Five Colombian Soldiers Dead and Eight Wounded by Explosive
By Dialogo March 09, 2009BOGOTA, March 7, 2009 (AFP) – Five Colombian soldiers were killed and eight were injured after an explosion during an inspection in a remote rural area of the department of Meta (center), the General Command of the Armed Forces said. According to the military report, the incident occurred when the soldiers were inspecting a recently found underground cache. The cache, located in a highly mined zone, was discovered by troops deployed to a registration and control area in the Cano Cabra sector, a rural location of Vista Hermosa in the department of Meta (center), the command added in a press release. The soldiers belonged to the Omega Joint Task Force, a troop specializing in the war on the leftist guerrillas. On this matter, the command said that "the Armed Forces of Colombia will not cease operations against the terrorist groups that have caused so much damage to the Colombian people." The media has reported that the soldiers were searching for caches in which the guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) conceal weapons and explosives. Hours earlier, the Army had learned about the discovery of a cache matching that description which had been found in the Cano Correntoso village, a rural town of Puerto Rico, which is also in Meta. According to this report, 89 pistols of various types were found, along with as 20 revolvers, six rifle chargers, a machine gun bipod, a mortar with targeting devices, a mortar tube, and one machine gun cannon. The FARC is the largest guerrilla group that has been fighting in the country for the past 44 years, and according to the Army its strength has dropped from 11 to 7 thousand combatants because of the policy of President Alvaro Uribe’s government to fight the rebel organization.