FARC guerrillas killed in military attack in southeastern Colombia

A military bombing killed at least 10 guerrillas and wounded three at a base of dissidents from the former FARC rebel group in southeastern Colombia, official sources said on Tuesday.

Defense Secretary Diego Molano said on Twitter that the military action “neutralized” 13 FARC dissidents led by a man who goes by the alias “Gentil Duarte.”

These dissidents have distanced themselves from Colombia’s 2016 peace pact, which ended a half-century civil war and saw the FARC disarm the following year.

Molano did not say when the attack happened.

A source told AFP 10 died and three were injured.

The bombing took place in the Calamar municipal area in the jungles of northern Colombia, where former FARC dissidents still operate.

“These drug offenders are responsible for the recruitment of minors, attacks on our public forces, kidnapping and illegal mining,” Molano said.

He added that the government “will not rest” until it finds Duarte, one of the most wanted rebel commanders in Colombia.

Last Friday, the country launched a 7,000-strong elite force to fight rebels funded by drug trafficking and other illegal activities.

It said the force would persecute members of the ELN – the last active guerrilla group in Colombia – as well as drug groups and former FARC rebels who have abandoned the peace terms.

In December, the UN said the Colombian government had killed 244 former FARC fighters since the signing of the peace agreements.

Colombia continues to fight a multifaceted armed conflict with left-wing guerrillas, drug traffickers and right-wing paramilitaries vying for control of the lucrative cocaine and illegal mineral extraction industries.