|VOICE OF AMERICA|
SLUG: 2-324941 Colombia / Rebels (L-O)
TITLE=COLOMBIA / REBELS (L-ONLY)
DATELINE=RIO DE JANEIRO
HEADLINE: Colombian Military Seizes Record Arms From Rebels
INTRO: The Colombian military has made the largest seizure of ammunition and other explosives in the country's history. Carmen Gentile reports for VOA from Rio de Janeiro that Colombian military and government officials consider the discovery a victory in their fight against rebels.
TEXT: Half a million rounds of rifle ammunition were discovered in a secret subterranean vault in the jungle of southern Colombia. Soldiers patrolling the area by land and air also found grenades and other explosives.
The secret cache is said to belong to the left-wing rebel group known as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC.
Colombia has been battling FARC for over 40 years. Both the Colombian government and the United States considers FARC a terrorist organization.
General Carlos Fracica says the discovery is a major victory for Colombia in its struggle against the FARC.
/// FRACICA ACT IN SPANISH FADE UNDER ///
Fracica says "with this seizure we have saved many lives, because each one of these cartridges could have been used in an attack on a Colombian."
Though President Alvaro Uribe claims Colombia is winning its war with the FARC, the rebels have become more brazen in their attacks in recent weeks, killing many policemen and civilians.
Last week authorities said FARC armed gunmen attacked a town in southern Colombia, storming a government office and a police station, killing 11 people, four of them police officers.
And earlier this month rebels killed 13 police officers in separate fire fights near the Panamanian border and close to Ecuador. (SIGNED)
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