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Colombian soldier killed in clash with ELN rebels

BOGOTA, July 17, 2017 (BSS/AFP) - A Colombian soldier has been killed in a clash with the ELN, the only rebel group left operating in the country after a peace deal struck with the bigger FARC, the army said Sunday.

The clash took place in the Bajo Cauca area when Seventh Army Unit forces engaged ELN troops, an army statement said. It resulted in the death of officer Jhon Fredy Gomez Salazar.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for reaching a historic deal with the country's largest rebel force, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, to end more than 50 years of conflict.

The government and the ELN, which stands for National Liberation Army, are following the path set by the FARC in negotiating a peace deal that aims to disarm and demobilize the insurgents.

Colombia's long-running conflict has left 260,000 people dead, some 60,000 unaccounted for and seven million displaced.