lunes, 15 de junio de 2015

Colombian troops shoot rebel chief, two policemen killed

Colombian authorities announced on 14 June the killing of "one of the top commanders" of the Marxist rebel force National Liberation Army (ELN), in fighting in the district of Segovia in Antioquia. The dead man was identified as Marquitos, a member of the ELN politburo, head of the Darío Ramírez Castro Front and in direct command of some 260 fighters active in the departments of Bolívar and Antioquia, El Espectador reported on 15 June. Marquitos was thought involved in activities including kidnappings, extortion from mining firms, illegal mining and drug trafficking, the daily and the defence ministry reported. The Minister of Defence Juan Carlos Pinzón qualified the killing as one of the "most important blows to" the ELN in recent years. The ministry separatedly offered a cash reward for tips leading to the arrests of the killers of a police colonel and a policeman, possibly executed after being ambushed by suspected members of Front 48 of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), Colombia's main communist guerrilla force. The FARC are currently engaged in protracted peace talks with the state in Havana. The two policemen were shot on 12 or 13 June while travelling in civilian clothes between Córdoba and Ipiales, in the department of Nariño, Radio Santa Fe reported. In the southern department of Guaviare on 14 June, troops found and destroyed 109 mines hidden in a purported FARC camp, Radio Santa Fe reported. The army declared the mines were likely to have been laid on a road leading to the village of Nueva Colombia south of the departmental capital, San José del Guaviare.