Stabroek News

At least 23 killed in armed clashes in Colombia’s Arauca, government says


BOGOTA, (Reuters) - Twenty-three people have been reported killed so far in Colombia’s Arauca province amid fighting between illegal armed groups, Defense Minister Diego Molano told a news conference late on Monday.

Fighting broke out over the weekend in Arauca which sits on the border with Venezuela - as members of the National Liberation Army (ELN) fought with dissidents of the Revolution­ary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), who reject a 2016 peace deal.

The groups were fighting over control of illegal economies such as drug traffickin­g, Colombia’s army said in a statement late on Sunday. The violence also displaced 12 families, Colombia’s human rights ombudsman said.

The violence harks back to the mid 2000s, when the FARC and ELN fought each other in Arauca and the neighborin­g Venezuelan state of Apure.

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