Colombian Army Kills 24 Leftist Rebels
By Dialogo March 22, 2012
Colombian troops killed 24 FARC leftist rebels and captured 10 others during
a gun battle in the country’s eastern Arauca province, President Juan Manuel
Santos said in a Twitter message on March 21.
“A huge blow against the FARC in Arauca where they killed our
soldiers,” Santos wrote.
“There are 24 dead and 10 captured,” Santos said in his message,
which was also posted in his official webpage.
Over the weekend, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia rebel group
ambushed an army unit in Arauca, killing 11 soldiers.
The violence follows FARC rebel overtures — deemed insufficient by the
government — to make peace with the Bogota government.
The FARC officially renounced abduction of civilians late last month, but
still holds 10 members of Colombian security forces, though it has pledged to
release them soon.
Santos has said he would open a direct dialogue with the FARC only when all
hostages are released and the group vows to cease “terrorist” actions.
He also wants the FARC to stop recruiting children.
The FARC, believed to have 8,000 members, has been at war with the government
since 1964. It began a campaign of kidnappings in the mid-1980s, seizing army
hostages to serve as bargaining chips for FARC prisoners.