Four Colombian soldiers die in minefield explosion

Other News Materials 7 February 2008 23:30 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa ) - Four Colombian soldiers were killed in a minefield explosion as they fought leftist rebels in the country's centre-west, military authorities said Thursday.

General Ramiro Castillo, commander of the 6th Army Brigade, told Colombian radio station Caracol that the deaths occurred in a rural area in the province of Tolima, between the towns of Chaparral and Roncesvalles.

On Wednesday, Colombian authorities said three people - one soldier and two peasants - had died in separate explosions of anti- personnel land mines which left another three people injured.

Colombian authorities have admitted that the country is unlikely to fulfil its commitment to eradicate all anti-personnel landmines from its territory by 2011, in accordance with the Ottawa Treaty. Rebel groups in the troubled South American nation continue to plant mines.

In 2007 alone, 879 people were victims of landmines in Colombia, according to official statistics. The figures indicate that 190 people died, and 689 were injured.