The guerrillas killed in a military bombardment early Wednesday had participated in the Saturday ambush and slaughter of eleven soldiers, according to an official statement released by President Juan Manuel Santos.
The announcement comes after government sources initially said the guerrillas killed in the operation in the northern Arauca department had been members of the FARC‘s 10th Front, which was believed responsible for the ambush, but had not directly participated in the act.
Speaking at headquarters of the Army’s 18th Batallion in Arauca, Santos said, “This blow [against the FARC] is another demonstration of the strength, courage and decisiveness of our Armed Forces. This blow is for the entire country, for faith in the future and faith in the cause of freedom.”
The Tuesday and Wednesday security force offensives against FARC guerrillas left a total of 39 dead and 12 captured, in what Colombian Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon described as the biggest blow against the FARC in the past five years.
The bombardment involved five Super Tucano planes and groundforces from the 18th Battallion and was reported to be a retaliatory act after Saturday’s ambush.
Santos did not offer any evidence as to why the guerrillas killed were now held to be directly responsible for the ambush.