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Rebels Launch Attacks on Eve of Election

IN BRIEF / COLOMBIA

March 12, 2006|From Times Wire Reports

Guerrillas killed eight soldiers and a policeman in three separate attacks, part of a show of force before a legislative election, authorities said.

Colombians will elect a new Congress today, determining the amount of legislative support that President Alvaro Uribe would get if, as expected, he wins a second term in May.

Uribe, a U.S. ally, is popular for cutting crime in his offensive against the guerrillas.

The rebels, fighting a four-decade insurgency funded by the cocaine trade, often step up attacks before elections to show their strength and scare people away from the polls.

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