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Ten rebels killed, three captured in Colombia military bombing

Colombia's Defense Minister Diego Molano holds a news conference to inform about a bombing that left ten former members of Colombian guerrilla group FARC killed in the rural municipality of Calamar, at the headquarters of the Defense Minister in Bogota, Colombia, March 2, 2021. Javier Casella/Courtesy Colombian Defense Minister/Handout via REUTERS

BOGOTA (Reuters) - Ten former members of Colombian guerrilla group FARC were killed and three were captured during a bombing in southeastern Guaviare province, the defense minister said on Tuesday.

The fighters, who reject the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia’s 2016 peace deal with the government, were targeted in the rural municipality of Calamar.

“In a bombing of our armed forces, with help from the attorney general’s office, 13 members of the FARC dissidents commanded by alias Gentil Duarte in Calamar were neutralized,” Defense Minister Diego Molano said on Twitter.

Former FARC guerrillas who reject the deal, referred to by the government as “dissidents”, have become a security threat in the Andean country, accused of murdering human rights activists, producing cocaine and taking part in illegal mining.

Security sources estimate some 2,500 fighters are among the dissidents. Their ranks include high-profile leaders Ivan Marquez and Jesus Santrich who initially supported the peace accord.

The deal saw some 13,000 FARC members demobilize and ended the group’s part in a more than five decade conflict which has killed 260,000 people and displaced millions.

Reporting by Luis Jaime Acosta; Writing by Julia Symmes Cobb; editing by Grant McCool

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