Heavy fighting between Colombia’s National Army and ELN rebels on Sunday has left two soldiers dead and injured another two, the army said.
The combat took place in Saravena, a municipality in the Arauca department where the ELN, Colombia’s second largest rebel group, is at its strongest.
According to the military, the combat began around 2AM Sunday morning when soldiers discovered rebels planting explosives and attacked.
In the same region, three more soldiers were injured in other combat situations that occurred over the past few days.
The ELN, formed in 1964 already, has been engaged in preliminary peace talks with the administration of President Juan Manuel Santos since before June last year.
However, since the initial announcement no results have emerged from these exploratory talks.
The parties so far have seemed unable to come to an agreement on the condition for formal peace talks as currently held with the country’s largest rebel group, the FARC.
The latter has been holding formal talks since November 2012 and are currently in a process to deescalate violence. The FARC has vowed to refrain from attacks on security forces and infrastructure and the military agreed to not carry out air strikes.
The two parties are currently negotiating a possible bilateral ceasefire ahead of the possible signing of a peace deal that would put an end to more than 50 years of drug fueled political violence.