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Colombian military says 39 FARC rebels killed in country's northeast, most in bombing of camp
BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) ' Colombian troops have killed 39 rebels, most of them in a bombardment of a guerrilla camp, the defense minister said Wednesday.
The military bombed a rebel camp in northeastern Arauca state early Wednesday, killing 33, Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon said at a news conference. Other rebels were killed in the past two days in operations in Arauca and other parts of the country, Pinzon said.
He described the bombing of the rebel camp as the biggest blow against the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, in the past five years.
Twelve alleged rebels were also captured during the military operations on Tuesday and Wednesday, Pinzon said.
The bombardment in Arauca, near Colombia's border with Venezuela, came in the same region where 11 soldiers were killed Saturday in an attack blamed on the FARC.
"A great blow to the FARC in Arauca, where they killed our soldiers," Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said in a message on his Twitter account, congratulating the military.
The military says an estimated 600 to 700 members of the FARC and the smaller National Liberation Army, or ELN, operate in the area.