Paraguay's government says three members of a recently formed guerrilla group have died in a clash with security forces in the South American country.

Col. Victor Urdapilleta says the Agrupacion Campesina Armada fighters battled a joint police, military and anti-drug unit Friday. The confrontation took place 270 miles north of the capital, Asuncion.

The emergence of the new rebel group was announced by the government just two months ago. Officials said intelligence reports indicated it is a splinter group of another rebel movement, the Paraguayan People's Army.

The latter group has sown fear with kidnappings for ransom in the name of political change to help the rural poor. It has killed three members of the military, 13 police officers and 22 civilians since it began operating in 2008.