Following an unconfirmed report of the death of FARC leader “Alfonso Cano,” several media Saturday reported large-scale military operations in the traditional stronghold of the guerrilla group, where the army have denied fighting is taking place.
According to Caracol Radio, residents and military sources confirm offensives near the towns of Toribio, Miranda and Tacueyo in the mountainous north-east of the Cauca department, close to the Tolima department.
Indigenous communities in the region told the radio station that the military is involved in a heavy offensive since Tuesday and that strong explosions can be heard.
Military sources confirmed to Caracol that in these regions and in the Cañon de las Hermosas, a valley in the mountains of Tolima, there is a big concentration of FARC fighters. The sources say they expect to make good results in these areas.
Newspaper El Tiempo confirmed fighting in the Cañon de las Hermosas, where, according to the newspaper, the central camps of the FARC’s supreme leader ‘Alfonso Cano’ are located.
According to military sources consulted by the newspaper, the army and guerrillas have been in combat there for several weeks already.
On Friday, after La Silla Vacia reported the death of Cano, the President’s Office denied fighting had been taking place in the valley. The website later moderated its claim, but say their sources insist the FARC leader is dead.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said on Thursday that the military is “breathing down the neck” of Alfonso Cano and know exactly where he is.