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Iran Press TV

Army troopers detain 20 FARC rebels in SW Colombia

Iran Press TV

Sat Jun 20, 2015 8:5AM

Colombian army forces have arrested at least 20 rebels from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) during separate raids on a number of houses in the country's southwestern department of Narino.

The Colombian soldiers broke into dozens of homes in the port city of Tumaco, located 611 kilometers (380 miles) southwest of the capital, Bogota, on Friday and detained the rebels, Spanish-language Caracol Radio reported.

The report added that suspects are charged with carrying out attacks on power transmission lines as well as oil pipes in Narino.

On Wednesday, suspected FARC members set off a bomb targeting the Cano Limon-Covenas pipeline, Colombia's second largest oil pipeline, in the northern department of Norte de Santander.

Officials with state oil company Ecopetrol said efforts were underway to prevent environmental damage, as well as the entry of oil into local water supplies. The amount of oil released from the pipeline is not known.

The development came on the same day as four soldiers were killed and several others wounded when their patrol vehicle struck an improvised explosive device planted by FARC rebels in the southern department of Caqueta.

FARC, Latin America's oldest rebel group, has been fighting the Colombian government since 1964. An estimated 8,000 people are believed to be fighting for the group, which is operating in a large expanse of land in eastern Colombia.

According to Colombian officials, the fighting between government forces and FARC rebels holed up in the thick jungles and high peaks of the Andean mountains has claimed an estimated 600,000 lives and left more than 4.5 million people displaced.

MP/HJL/HRB



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