Colombia: At Least 23 Dead in Clashes Between Armed Rebel Groups


Violent confrontations between Colombian rebel groups near the country’s border with Venezuela have left at least 23 people dead, Defense Minister Diego Molano told a news conference late on Monday. Fighting broke out over the weekend in Arauca as members of the National Liberation Army (ELN) fought with dissidents of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

The groups were fighting over control of illegal economies such as drug trafficking, according to a statement from Colombia’s army. The human rights ombudsman’s office expressed “deep concern for the escalation of the armed conflict in Arauca due to the confrontation between illegal armed groups that put the civilian population at grave risk.” Molano also said on Monday that another meeting would take place in Arauca in the afternoon on how to best protect the local population and control the border area with Venezuela.

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Al Jazeera