Colombia says kills 9 leftist rebels in attack

BOGOTA (Reuters) – Colombia’s army said yesterday it had killed nine Marxist rebels in an early morning raid on a guerrilla camp in the southern part of the Andean nation.

Colombia has received billions of dollars in US aid to help fight the decades-old insurgency and has seen a dramatic fall in guerrilla violence since President Alvaro Uribe took power in 2002 although attacks still occur.

“Military forces struck a new and overwhelming blow this morning to the FARC, killing in combat nine members of the southern block,” the army said in a statement.

It said the attack took place about 19 miles (30 km) from Cartagena del Chaira in Caqueta state.

During the weekend, Colombian forces killed 12 leftist rebels from a unit assigned to protect the FARC’s leader, and another 14 people died in separate fighting.

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