Fifty-four members of neo-paramilitary drug gangs were arrested and twelve were killed in an armed forces operation in northern Colombia, the government secretary of the Antioquia department told Caracol radio on Sunday.
The anti-narcotics operation took place in the municipality of Puerto Libertador on the border of the Antioquia and Cordoba departments, where drug gangs are contesting important routes for the trafficking of cocaine to the Caribbean coast.
The bust took place after major clashes between neo-paramilitary gangs Los Paisas, Los Rastrojos, and Los Urabeños, who are fighting to control cocaine exporting routes.
The clash began early Saturday morning, with the three gangs battling amongst themselves. Later in the day, the Colombian military stormed the area, catching the gangs by surprise.