7 Colombian troops killed

| Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013, 10:12 p.m.

BOGOTA, Colombia — At least seven Colombian soldiers were killed and five others were wounded in fighting with rebels who tried to seize a town on Wednesday, the military said.

The gunbattle erupted when rebels tried to take over Milan in the southern state of Caqueta and were repelled by dozens of troops, army Gen. Emiro Barrios said.

It was the deadliest clash between Colombian troops and rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia this year. On Jan. 29, four soldiers were killed in fighting with rebels elsewhere in the country.

The violence came while the Colombian government and FARC rebels are pursuing peace talks in Cuba.

Barrios said a group of rebels estimated at about 150 fighters had clashed with three platoons, or about 90 troops.

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