Ecuador targets Colombian guerillas

Ecuadoran troops destroyed a suspected Colombian guerilla camp near the jungle border between the two countries, Ecuador’s defense ministry said Sept. 23. The camp was “probably used by irregular groups” from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the ministry said. The discovery adds to evidence that the FARC regularly crosses into Ecuador for refuge, BBC correspondents say. Bogota recently accused Ecuador of failing to crack down FARC activity.

The camp was discovered by an Ecuadoran army patrol in the province of Sucumbios. Officials said a nearby cocaine processing plant, assumed to belong to the FARC, was also destroyed. The statement appeared to contradict an earlier denial by Ecuador’s Defence Minister Oswaldo Jarrin that Colombian armed groups operated in the country.

That same day on the Colombian side of the border, at least nine National Police officers on a coca-eradication mission died in an ambush attributed to FARC guerrillas, officials in Bogota said. More than 300 members of the Colombian security forces have been killed by guerrillas so far this year. (BBC, Sept. 23)

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