Two guerrillas killed in Colombia fighting: Military

AFP , Saturday 30 May 2015

Colombian soldiers killed two leftist rebels Saturday, the military said, amid renewed fighting that has shaken peace talks between the government and the FARC group.

The military said the latest clash occurred in the southwestern department of Narino, near the town of Tumaco.

The body of one of the rebels was recovered but the other was "violently snatched away by the civilian populace," the military statement said.

Soldiers also recovered a grenade launcher, a mortar, three handguns, ammunition and explosives as well as 5.7 kilograms of coca paste, it said.

At least 44 rebels have been killed since May 21 in government ground and air attacks.

President Juan Manuel Santos ended a government suspension of airstrikes in April following a rebel attack that killed 11 soldiers.

The FARC has responded by calling off a unilateral ceasefire that it had been observing since December.

Peace talks, which have been ongoing in Cuba since November 2012, have continued despite the renewed fighting.

But with the fate of the peace process on the line, the countries facilitating the talks, Cuba and Norway, on Wednesday urged the rebels and Bogota to step up negotiations.

Colombia's decades-long civil war has killed some 200,000 people and uprooted more than six million since FARC launched its Marxist guerrilla war in 1964.

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