Colombia forces kill 39 FARC militants
Colombian soldiers unload corpses of FARC militants from a helicopter on Feb 14. AFP photoColombian troops killed 39 militants from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), military officials said March 21, but mediators announced that the militants will begin a frequently delayed release of hostages within days.
The military bombed a militant camp in northeastern Arauca state early March 21, killing 33, Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon said. Other militants were killed in operations in Arauca and other parts of the country, Pinzon said, the Associated Press reported. President Juan Manuel Santos in a Twitter message hailed the “huge blow against the FARC,” but reiterated that the nation needed peace to prevail. The FARC said through the mediator that it plans to start releasing 10 military hostages on March 26, under a pledge announced last month. The group announced in February but later stalled on a plan under which the six police and four soldiers it still holds would be released, and would end the practice of kidnapping for ransom.