Colombia says at least 23 FARC dissidents killed in operation | Conflict News

Army operation ‘forcefully dismantles’ FARC dissident construction, Colombian defence minister says.

At the least 23 dissidents of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) insurgent group had been killed throughout an operation by the Colombian armed forces alongside the Venezuelan border, the defence ministry mentioned.

The dissidents “died throughout army operations” carried out within the northern border division of Arauca, a narcotrafficking hall that has seen fierce combating between armed teams for the reason that starting of the 12 months, a supply within the ministry advised the AFP information company on Thursday.

Among the many useless was a former FARC chief generally known as “Arturo”.

5 dissidents had been moreover injured, the supply mentioned.

“This operation forcefully dismantles the FARC dissident construction,” Colombian defence minister Diego Molano mentioned in a video revealed on social media.

Colombia signed a peace settlement in 2016 with the FARC to finish a decades-long battle, however some dissident members of the group have chosen to not recognise it.

The defence minister mentioned Arturo “took refuge in Venezuela and from there sought to reactivate the dissident teams to proceed committing crimes”.

Former FARC dissidents, in addition to members of Colombia’s final lively guerilla group generally known as the ELN, have arrange bases in Venezuela, the place Colombian authorities say they obtain authorities backing – an accusation Caracas denies.

One other insurgent group chief generally known as “Ernesto” was additionally killed within the operation.

Final month, President Ivan Duque introduced the “neutralisation” of the insurgent group chief generally known as “Jhonier”, whereas in October of final 12 months the alleged drug kingpin generally known as “Otoniel” was captured.

He’s now awaiting extradition to the USA, the place he was charged in 2015 – amongst different alleged Colombian drug traffickers – of conspiring to distribute cocaine, “realizing that it could be imported into the USA”.

In January, combating between insurgent teams close to the Venezuelan border left no less than 23 folks useless. The teams had been combating over management of unlawful economies reminiscent of drug trafficking, Colombia’s military mentioned on the time.