Security forces have neutralized 13 alleged members of the country’s oldest rebel group FARC in Colombia’s central Meta department, the Ministry of Defense reported on Wednesday.
During the military operation that was prepared by intelligence forces of the national police, five alleged rebel fighters were killed, while eight were captured, according to a press release by the defense ministry.
The operation was carried out Wednesday morning in a joined effort by police forces and Colombia’s air force in the municipality of Vista Hermosa, about 155 miles from the country’s capital Bogota.
According to the ministry’s notification, the neutralized combatants allegedly were part of the security forces of one of the leaders of the FARC’s eastern block, Miguel de Jesus Santinilla Botache, alias “Gentil Duarte.”
Alias “Gentil Duarte” is being held responsible for numerous war crimes like extortion rackets, kidnapping, forced recruitment of minors and forced displacement of rural communities in the eastern departments of Meta and Guaviare, according to the Ministry of Defense.
The rebel leader is also claimed to be one of the largest landholders of the region, owning about 20,000 cattle, due to his troops’ displacement activities.
During the military operation, security forces were able to seize a serious number of weapons including 25 rifles, a machine gun, a grenade launcher, 55 grenades of 40mm caliber, 20 hand grenades and plenty of ammunition.
Additionally the security forces were able to obtain crucial information hardware in form of 12 laptops, 60 USB sticks, and 21 hard drives, the defense ministry reported.
All together Colombia’s security forces claimed to have neutralized 56 alleged FARC members since January 19. Of these, 27 were killed, 21 were captured, while eight demobilized voluntarily.
En 4 días, Fuerza Pública ha neutralizado 56 terroristas de las Farc (Ministry of Defense Press Release)
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