Three Guerrillas Killed in Colombia Fighting

By Dialogo
January 24, 2011

Three leftist guerillas were killed and eight soldiers wounded in separate clashes on 20 January, the Colombian military said.

The three Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas were killed in fighting near the town of Chaparral, located 150 miles (240 kilometers) east of Bogota, the Colombian army said.

The soldiers and rebels clashed near a wooded region where FARC leader Alfonso Cano is believed to be hiding.

Authorities said Luis Fernando Mendez, considered a local FARC leader, was among the three killed. They said the 28-year-old Mendez was responsible for kidnappings and extorting money from local farmers.

Separately, eight soldiers were wounded in fighting near the border of Ecuador in southern Colombia.

The soldiers were patrolling in the rural region very close to the Ecuadorian town of Sucumbios “when rebels attacked them with a grenade,” a regional military commander told AFP.

The attack was blamed on FARC guerillas in the border region.

The FARC has between 9,000 and 11,000 fighters, according to estimates, and is active in about half of Colombia.