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16 killed in Colombian election day violence

June 20th, 2010 SindhToday

Bogota, June 21 (DPA) At least 16 people were killed in attacks by leftist rebels as presidential elections in Colombia got underway Sunday, government officials said.

Members of the Marxist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) shot dead three soldiers who were transporting voting papers in a remote part of the province of Meta, Defence Minister Gabriel Silva said.

Another seven policemen were killed in a mine field in Norte de Santander province near the border with Venezuela. Another eight officials were missing there.

The military also shot dead six FARC rebels in Meta, who, authorities said, were planning attacks on polling stations.

Another nine FARC members were arrested in the port city of Buenaventura, before they could carry out any attacks, authorities said.

In total, around 350,000 policeman and soldiers have been deployed to keep the peace on the day of the election.

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