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article imageColombian police die in clash with 'FARC dissidents'

By AFP     Feb 20, 2018 in World

Two policemen were killed in a gunbattle in southern Colombia with alleged FARC dissidents, the defense minister said Tuesday.

The clash happened in San Vicente de Caguan in the Caqueta department when the police stopped and tried to search two men, who opened fire, Luis Carlos Villegas told a press conference.

He said a grenade was also used against the police but it did not explode. The two police officers died after being taken to a hospital, where one of their attackers also died.

The minister said "everything points" to the men being dissident members of the FARC, which disbanded last year and became a political party after signing an historic peace deal with the government of President Juan Manuel Santos.

However the government estimates that around 1,100 FARC members rejected the deal and formed a breakaway group, supported by drug trafficking and illegal mining.

On Monday, two Ecuadoran soldiers were wounded in an attack by dissidents in an area close to the border with Colombia, the second such incident in the area in weeks.

A bomb blast outside a police station on January 27 injured 28 people, including police. Ecuadoran authorities blamed FARC dissidents for the attack.

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