Colombian paramilitary groups spar
AUC attacks Metro Block faction
BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) -- Colombia's main right-wing paramilitary group
attacked a faction
that refused to participate in a cease-fire and ongoing peace talks with the government, the faction's
The leader, known as "Rodrigo," told The Associated Press Tuesday that
at least two fighters
from his Metro Block faction were killed in combat with troops from the United Self-Defense
Forces of Colombia in Montebello, 160 kilometers (100 miles) north of Bogota.
The United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, or AUC, entered peace talks
with the government
after declaring a cease-fire in December. But Metro Block refused to participate, saying it would
negotiate with the government only if leftist rebels, like the Revolutionary Armed Forces of
Colombia, put down their arms.
Meanwhile, authorities offered a 20 million peso (US$7,000) for information
leading to the arrest
of bombers who detonated a bomb in a garbage bin as police and soldiers passed by, killing
four people, including two children.
Eleven civilians and two soldiers were wounded in the attack Monday night
in Granada, a town
located 210 kilometers (130 miles) north of Bogota.
Police blamed the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, for the attack.
For the past two months, the military has waged an offensive against the
FARC and another
rebel group, the National Liberation Army, near Granada and other towns in Antioquia state.
More than 90 rebels have been killed and dozens have deserted during the
Some 3,500 people -- most of them civilians -- die every year in Colombia's
war, which pits the
two leftist rebel groups against the police and military and the outlawed paramilitary groups.
Copyright 2003 The Associated Press.