Colombia’s army on Tuesday claimed to have given a heavy blow to rebel group FARC after arresting 17 suspected guerrillas in the central southwest of the country.
The arrests took place in the states of Huila and Tolima where the FARC enjoys relative support, and followed months of investigation and testimonies of several rebel deserters, said the army’s Fifth brigade on its website.
The suspects allegedly make part of the local FARC unit’s Terrorism Support Network, a term dubbed by the armed forces to describe civilians who collaborate with the rebels.
Among those arrested are alleged guerrilla supporters who are accused of coordinating the recruitment of minors in the region, the medical care of injured guerrillas and carrying out intelligence work about army movements.
The FARC and the Colombian government are currently involved in peace talks to end the armed conflict that has ravaged Colombia since 1964 when the rebel group was founded. Both warring parties continue to carry out offensives as no agreement has been reached over a ceasefire for the duration of the talks.