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Violence Rises in Colombia's Arauca State

Colombia’s interior minister insisted Monday that the government was still in control of Arauca state, a region where one rebel group killed six soldiers and a civilian with a car bomb over the weekend and another kidnapped two foreign journalists. Colombian Defense Minister Martha Lucia Ramirez and the commander of the armed forces, Gen. Jorge Enrique Mora, visited Arauca on Monday to investigate the volatile situation. The car bomb, which exploded near a military patrol in the village of Pueblo Nuevo on Sunday, was believed set off by the rebel Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, the army said. The civilian who died was the driver, the army said. The blast, about 200 miles northeast of the capital, also wounded eight soldiers and another civilian, the army said. Authorities have accused rebels of twice using hostages as unwitting suicide bombers, luring them into cars without telling them the vehicles were packed with explosives, and then detonating the bombs by remote control when the car neared a military target. Full Story

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