Three suspected guerrillas from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) have been gunned down by Panamanian police in a gunbattle in the remote border province of Darien on Wednesday, according to the Panamanian government.
In a statement issued by the Interior Ministry, details on the armed encounter were disclosed. Two FARC guerrillero’s died on the spot and the third succumbed to his injuries hours later, whilst two other were arrested and one was able to flee.
According to the same source, the gunbattle erupted when six armed men were spotted in a canoe on the Tuira River by Panamanian border guards, upon which the gunfigth followed. The rebels were said to belong to theFARC’s 57th Front. In February 2008, six FARC rebels infiltrated in Panama were arrested after trying to hijack an airplane of the Panamanian Coastal Guard.
The FARC was established in 1964 as the military wing of the Colombian Communist Party. It is composed by approximately 9,000 combatants and several supporters, mostly in rural areas. Over the past six years, the rebel group has suffered a heavy setback following several military raids led by the Colombian armed forces, supported by the knowhow and logistics of the United States.