At least 20 rebel militants were killed after the Colombian army raided several bases in the southwestern province of Narino.
General Leonardo Barrero said a commander with the Marxist-inspired Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, was killed in the attack, according to Colombia Reports, citing local media.
The assault took place early on Saturday after the air force bombed three locations in Ricaurte.
“This crushing blow was achieved as a result of a joint operation between various armed forces. This column had frightened villagers, peasants and indigenous people of the region with murders, extortion, rape,” Barrero was quoted as saying by Colombia Reports.
Colombian General Jorge Alberto Segura told The Associated Press that six bodies were recovered, while 60 rebels were residing in three camps.
Colombia has been holding talks with FARC, the oldest insurgency group in Latin America, since mid-November.
On Nov. 19, FARC announced a unilateral ceasefire until January, but Colombia said it would not partake in the accord.
President Juan Manuel Santos on Monday said that the rebels have a deadline to meet a peace deal sometime in the next year. “This should not last any longer than November next year at the latest,” he said.
“But it is important to be patient, and not demand immediate results, because… some very complicated issues are being discussed,” Santos said, according to AFP.
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