Three soldiers are killed in fighting between the Colombian army and FARC dissidents

BOGOTÁ (AP) — Three soldiers were killed in a battle between the Colombian army and a remnant front of Colombia’s extinct Revolutionary Armed Forces, the military establishment confirmed Saturday, while President Gustavo Petro said the offensive will continue in the southwest of the country. country .

The Colombian Armed Forces on Saturday rejected the killing of the three soldiers they identified as Jorge Fuentes, Camilo Molina and Javier Ballesteros, who were killed in an offensive that began two days ago in the municipality of Argelia, Cauca department, the institution said. in a statement. Edition.

Three other injured soldiers are stable, the facility added.

The clashes followed the capture in that area, on May 2 and 3, of at least eight members of the Carlos Patiño Front, a remnant group of the extinct FARC who were to be withdrawn from the site when soldiers were attacked from different directions attacked. points. .

From the city of Popayán, capital of Cauca, the commander of the armed forces, General Helder Giraldo, is leading a counter-offensive to strengthen the security apparatus in the area where the events took place, the army added on its X account, formerly Twitter.

The clash displaced about 400 civilians in the area, the report said.

President Petro responded in his .” ”.

The Micay Canyon has been a conflict zone for decades, where the Carlos Patiño Front dominates and disputes control of the area with other dissidents. As the Colombian authorities have acknowledged, large quantities of coca leaves are grown and sold in the area.

Petro’s government is pursuing a policy of total peace that proposes the abandonment of arms by armed groups, guerrillas and dissidents through dialogue tables that have been questioned by parts of the opposition on the grounds that they promote impunity.

Petro also promotes programs to replace illegal crops, the non-judicialization of farmers and programs to regain territorial control in their favor.