Colombian Military Kills Nine Rebels in Clashes

Fri Apr 05 2024
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BOGOTÁ, Colombia: Colombian military has killed nine members of a dissident faction of the former FARC rebel group in clashes in rural Colombia, the military has said.

An armed forces statement described the guerrillas as members of the Alfonso Cano bloc of Second Marquetalia, a group that in February agreed to start peace talks process with the government.

Second Marquetalia, which is being led by former FARC commander Ivan Marquez, has around 1,600 members who reject Colombia’s historic 2016 peace agreement which demobilized the FARC.

Images shared by the military Wednesday showed soldiers exchanging gunfire with the rebels in the Narino department, in western Colombia.

The military said ammunition and communication equipment was seized in the operation.

The encounter came almost two months after Colombia’s government and the rebel group agreed to start “dialogue leading to the signing of a peace agreement.”

A document shared in February this year said the parties had committed to “immediately develop previous agreements for the de-escalation of the conflict.”

It was part of Colombian President Gustavo Petro’s efforts to end a 60-year conflict between Colombian security forces, guerrillas, right-wing militias and drug cartels.

However, human rights groups have accused drug-trafficking guerrillas of using various ceasefires to expand their influence by occupying more territory and recruiting new members, a process that has repeatedly failed.

Civilians are “paying the price” as fighting between armed groups escalates in Colombia, according to a report released Wednesday by the International Committee of the Red Cross.


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