16 FARC dis­si­dents killed in bor­der:

Lat/Am

Arab Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

Six­teen dis­si­dent mem­bers of Colom­bian for­mer guer­rilla group FARC were killed in a mil­i­tary op­er­a­tion on the bor­der with Venezuela, the army said Wed­nes­day.

“We will not lower our guard against th­ese crim­i­nals,” Pres­i­dent Juan Manuel San­tos wrote on Twit­ter.

The op­er­a­tion was car­ried out in the mu­nic­i­pal­ity of For­tul, in the South Amer­i­can coun­try’s depart­ment of Arauca, the army state­ment said.

The state­ment gave few de­tails of the mil­i­tary ac­tion, but De­fense Min­is­ter Luis Car­los Vil­le­gas told re­porters that a prom­i­nent rebel com­man­der, Alex Ren­don, could be among the dead.

The army said the group was re­spon­si­ble for at­tacks on a lo­cal hos­pi­tal, oil in­fra­struc­ture and se­cu­rity forces in the area.

It said the group had com­bined with lo­cal lead­ers of the Na­tional Lib­er­a­tion Army, or ELN by its Span­ish acro­nym, to try to con­trol drug traf­fick­ing in the de­part­ments of Arauca, Boy­aca and Casanare, as well as co­or­di­nate “ex­tor­tion ac­tiv­i­ties, arms traf­fick­ing and the ar­tic­u­la­tion of ter­ror­ist plans.”

The ELN is cur­rently in peace talks with San­tos’ gov­ern­ment. (AFP)

San­tos

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