At least nine people have been killed in fighting between two rebel groups in eastern Colombia. Five people were also injured. It is not clear whether these are civilian or rebel casualties.
According to the governor of the Arauca department, guerrillas from the ELN and dissidents from the FARC clashed on Sunday. The two groups have long been fighting for control of drug trafficking and other illegal activities in the border region with Venezuela. At the beginning of last year, 23 people were killed in a confrontation.
The army has sent two platoons to the affected area to protect the civilian population. The governor has also asked international aid organizations to evacuate people from the area.
Since the FARC signed a peace deal with the Colombian government, the left-wing ELN (National Liberation Army) has been the main remaining rebel group in the country. Peace negotiations are also underway with the ELN, which have led, among other things, to a ceasefire that has been in effect since early August.
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