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Two Colombian soldiers killed in election day attacks

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At least two soldiers were killed and two more injured in attacks in Colombia on Sunday as the Latin American country went to the polls in parliamentary elections.

The two men were killed in explosions in the Department of Caquetá in Colombia’s south and in the central department of Meta, the armed forces tweeted.

Two other soldiers were injured in the attacks.

It initially remained unclear who was behind the violence.

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Guerrilla groups, paramilitaries and criminal gangs were active in Colombia.

A total of 73,000 soldiers were deployed across the country to keep candidates and voters safe.

A total of 188 seats in the House of Representatives and 108 seats in the Senate were up for election on Sunday.

And that some were reserved for certain groups and minorities.

Six years after the peace agreement between the Colombian government and the left-wing FARC, the victims of decades of civil war are now also to be represented in Congress.

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A total of 16 seats in the House of Representatives in contention in Sunday’s vote are earmarked for them.

Former members of the FARC organisation have had guaranteed seats in parliament since 2018.

The government’s 2016 peace deal with FARC ended a 52-year conflict, led to the demobilisation of 7,000 fighters and turned the guerrilla movement into a political party.

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Although FARC received less than 1 per cent of the vote in the 2018 elections, the peace agreement guaranteed it 10 seats in Congress.

Its presence there initially sparked criticism.

Sunday’s parliamentary poll was also considered a test for the presidential election set for May 29.

dpa/NAN

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