Rebels burst into a hospital and shot dead two soldiers who were seeking treatment, the latest in a string of attacks in Colombia’s lawless Arauca state. The Colombian army accused the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, of committing a war crime with the attack Tuesday in the village of Fortul. The gunmen pushed their way past medical personnel and shot Cpl. Hernan Villa Garcia and Pvt. Carlos Correa Galeano, who were at the hospital for dental care. Another soldier was severely wounded. President Alvaro Uribe declared three of Arauca’s biggest towns not including Fortul special militarized zones under emergency powers he assumed after taking office last August. Those powers expire the first week of in May, and with them will go Arauca military officials’ right to round up terrorist suspects at will and monitor telephone conversations. The three main towns Arauca, Saravena and Arauquita have continued to be bloodied by attacks, and much of the rest of Arauca state remains firmly controlled by rebels, who have been waging a four-decade war against the Colombian state. The FARC, a smaller leftist rebel group and a right-wing militia are fighting for control of Arauca, situated along Colombia’s eastern border with Venezuela. Full Story
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