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| 11/11/2009 12:00:00 AM

9 Colombia troops killed in clash with rebels

Nov 11--The Colombian soldiers are attacked by leftist guerrillas in a transit corridor for drug traffickers and rebels. The assault may be part of a FARC campaign tied to a presidential election.

Nine Colombian army soldiers were killed in a bloody confrontation with leftist guerrillas early Tuesday along a well-known transit corridor in southwestern Colombia frequented by drug traffickers and insurgents.

Analysts believe the attack may be part of a campaign by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, to step up its activities before next year's presidential election. President Alvaro Uribe, whose policies have set the FARC back on its heels since he took office in 2002, is expected to seek a third term.

The assault also might have been intended to divert the army from its attacks against the FARC leadership, which is thought to be holed up about 70 miles east of the scene of Tuesday's fighting. The military claimed to have killed three members of FARC leader Alfonso Cano's bodyguard in a canyon rain forest over the weekend, the Bogota newspaper El Tiempo reported.
 
Read more here.
 
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