Ten FARC dissidents killed in shootout with Colombian army

Bogota (AFP) – At least 10 dissidents from the former FARC guerrilla group were killed in clashes with the army in southwest Colombia, a military source said on Thursday.


Soldiers engaged in "intense fighting" with the rebels in Micay Canyon in the Cauca Department, General Jonh Jairo Rojas said.

"We are talking about more than 10 dead" among the dissident fighters from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, the leftist guerilla organization that signed a peace treaty with the government in 2016.

In a video shared with the media, the general said that members of the smaller National Liberation Army (ELN), which did not sign the peace treaty, had also participated in the fighting, although he did not report any victims from that group.

Guerrillas from both groups in the area compete for income from drug trafficking because of its proximity to the Pacific coast.

Most of the 13,000 FARC guerrillas disarmed after the peace process, but hundreds of fighters continue to operate in remote areas of the country.

According to the independent think tank Indepaz, there are around 5,200 dissidents still fighting, 85 percent of them new recruits.

For its part, the ELN, the last active guerrilla group in Colombia, has 2,450 combatants, according to Indepaz.

At the start of October, Indepaz said there were some 13,000 members of various illegal armed groups currently active in Colombia, including FARC dissidents, ELN and paramilitary groups.