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July 22, 2014

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Colombia: Oil spill by rebels not as bad as feared

Updated Tuesday, July 15, 2014 | 3:40 p.m.

PUERTO ASIS, Colombia (AP) — Colombian officials say an oil spill caused by rebels in the country's southwest may not have been as big as originally thought nor has it caused significant environmental damage.

Army commander Gen. Jaime Lasprilla says oil did not get into the Guamuez River after the incident last week in the Puerto Asis municipality, about 515 miles (830 kilometers) southwest of Bogota. Some creeks were contaminated.

Guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia stopped 19 tanker trucks and forced the drivers to dump an estimated 4,000 barrels of crude oil. Officials initially feared that water services for 100,000 people might be affected.

During a tour Tuesday, journalists found that most of the affected area had been cleaned up.