Security units fought stiff battles with two different bands of left-wing
BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) _ Security units fought stiff battles with two different bands of left-wing guerrillas in northern and western Colombia that left at least 30 people dead and 34 wounded, the army reported Sunday.
The bloody clashes Saturday ended a month that Colombians call ″Black November.″
On Nov. 6, guerrillas of the April 19 Movement seized the Justice Ministry’s Palace of Justice in Bogota and 97 people, including 11 Supreme Court Justices, perished in a fire and an assault by army troops the next day.
A week later, on Nov. 13, the Nevado del Ruiz volcano northwest of Bogota erupted, causing mud avalanches that buried valley towns and killed some 25,000 people.
In the battle reports, the army’s 4th Brigade said 22 guerrillas of the Armed Revolutionary Forces were killed when they were trapped by troops in the northern Uraba region.
It gave no casualties for the army units, but said the guerrilla group was ″virtually wiped out.″ The report said the rebels had kidnapped a rancher and engineer and the soldiers, aided by information from peasants, caught the guerrillas off guard. It did not say what happened to the kidnap victims.
A combined force of police and soldiers, supported by tanks, fough a 13- hour battle with April 19 Movement rebels near the city of Cali, 200 miles southwest of Bogota, according to the army’s 3d Brigade.
It said four rebels, three civilians and a policeman were killed, but did not list the number of wounded.
The report said about 1,000 soldiers and police took part in the operation in the hills around Cali, and claimed they had dislodged the rebels’ command group from Siloe district. It said the guerrillas had been planning a terrorist campaian in Cali, the third largest city in Colombia.
The April 19 Movement takes its name from that date in 1970 when a presidential election was held that the rebels claim was fradulent.