Seven FARC rebels killed in Colombian military operation
Thursday, January 23, 2014 - 01:31
Jan. 23 - A Colombian military strike kills at least seven rebels as peace talks take place in Havana. Nathan Frandino reports.
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At least seven suspected FARC rebels are dead after a military strike in the Colombian mountains.
New video released by the Air Force shows the strike, which took place in the Tolima municipality of Planadas.
Officials recovered three of the bodies and a number of weapons, seized from a FARC camp.
Here's General Leonardo Barrero:
(SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) COMMANDER OF COLOMBIA'S MILITARY FORCES, GENERAL LEONARDO BARRERO, SAYING:
"Leonel Vargas, alias "Alex" or "El Flaco," died. He was the leader of the Heroes de Marquetalia front. A man who, for 19 years, had been with the FARC and was responsible for a significant amount of terrorist attacks."
The operation comes days after a ceasefire expired and as peace talks take place in Cuba.
Lead FARC negotiator Ivan Marquez condemned the attack and appealed for an end to military action against rebels.
(SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) FARC LEAD NEGOTIATOR, IVAN MARQUEZ, SAYING:
"We do not accept the fact that while the dialogue goes on we have to face persecution, criminalization and the death of many popular leaders and opposition figures, and we have to observe, especially, the fragility of the guarantees that they held out regarding political participation."
The decades-long struggle is the last major guerilla conflict in the region.
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