At least 23 killed amid clashes between armed groups in north Colombia

4 months ago 123

(CNN)As galore arsenic 23 radical person been killed successful clashes betwixt rival guerrilla groups successful Colombia's bluish Arauca area, according to a spokesperson from the Attorney General's office.

"We are proceeding with the preliminary fig of 23 victims, but the accusation is inactive not [fully] clear. It's precise hard to participate the country wherever the clashes occurred, truthful these numbers indispensable beryllium handled with care," spokesperson Paola Tovar told CNN.

Colombia's ombudsman Carlos Camargo said that warring archetypal erupted betwixt the National Liberation Army -- the largest leftist guerrilla radical successful the state known by its Spanish acronym ELN -- and dissident factions of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, oregon FARC, successful the aboriginal hours of January 2.

    The ELN and FARC dissident groups, formed by rebel fighters who refused to participate the Colombian bid process successful 2016, were warring implicit power of amerciable economies specified arsenic cause trafficking, Colombian President Ivan Duque told reporters connected Monday.

      At slightest 12 families person been displaced arsenic a effect connected the violence, Camargo said.

      Local quality rights organizations and Human Rights Watch (HRW) judge the decease toll could beryllium adjacent higher.

      "We are precise disquieted astir these clashes," Juan Pappier, elder Americas researcher astatine HRW said. Pappier told CNN that they person received quality that 24 radical person been killed, on with reports of "kidnappings and forced displacement."

      US removes Colombia's FARC from coercion  blacklist

      Duque said that the Colombian service would deploy 2 battalions with chopper and quality capabilities to reconstruct calm successful Arauca, adding that Defense Minister Diego Molano would besides question to the portion connected Monday evening.

      Colombia's authorities has accused Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro of harboring FARC dissidents and ELN combatants, a assertion Maduro has repeatedly denied.

      On Monday, Duque said: "As you know, these groups person been operating freely successful Venezuelan territory with the consent and extortion of the dictatorial regime."

        The FARC and ELN began warring each different successful Arauca, which sits connected the borderline with Venezuela, and successful the neighboring Venezuelan authorities of Apure, successful 2006. The warring stopped successful 2010, astatine which constituent astatine slightest 868 radical had been killed and 58,000 radical had been displaced, according to a 2020 HRW report.

        Thousands of radical fled Apure successful March 2021 amid clashes betwixt Colombian equipped groups and the Venezuelan military.

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