Colombia’s military forces confirmed 36 FARC guerrillas were killed in an early morning raid Monday, making it the deadliest attack on the country’s largest guerrilla group in years.
Among the fatalities were three commanders of the guerrilla group, Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon told press.
The bombing dealt the guerrilla group its second major blow in less than a week after a raid near the Venezuelan border killed killed 33 rebels March 21.
The Army claimed that three rebel soldiers were wounded and five were captured, including alias “Arcesio” the former commander of the FARC’s 10th Front. Weapons and computers were also seized at the FARC stronghold in the central department of Meta.
“Last time 33 members of the FARC were discharged and the Air Force had broken the record in one operation. Never before have so many FARC members been killed in an operation, 33 last, 35 this week. So in one week the record was broken again,” said President Juan Manuel Santos in an official statement.
General Alejandro Navas, leader of the Armed Forces, assured the public that the attacks shouldn’t delay the planned release of ten hostages in FARC captivity slated for April 2 and April 4, saying the raid, which had allegedly been planned for months, fell within the rules of conflict.