Skip to main content

At least 19 killed as rebels, soldiers clash in Colombia

By CNN Staff
updated 9:15 PM EDT, Sun July 21, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • 15 soldiers are killed in one attack, four in another
  • 12 rebels are captured, says the president
  • The violence comes amid peace talks between the government and the FARC

(CNN) -- At least 19 soldiers were killed over the weekend in separate clashes with rebels in Colombia, the country's president said.

President Juan Manuel Santos reported attacks by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, commonly known as the FARC, in Arauca and Caqueta.

In the department of Arauca, which borders Venezuela, rebels ambushed a group of soldiers guarding an oil pipeline. Fifteen soldiers were killed and 12 rebels were captured, Santos said.

Another four soldiers were killed in Caqueta, which is a department in the south of the country.

"The instructions to our forces are as follows: Don't stop shooting, even for an instant until we reach the end of the conflict," the president said, according to his office.

Santos vowed operations will continue until those responsible are held to account.

The violence comes amid peace talks between the government and the FARC. The two sides have been at war since the 1960s.

Santos has said he wants talks, which started last year and are taking place in Cuba, wrapped up by November.

There have been sporadic attempts at peace in the past.

The last effort fell apart in 2002. Then-President Andres Pastrana ceded an area the size of Switzerland to the guerrilla group, but he ended negotiations after rebels launched a series of attacks across the country in an apparent bid to strengthen their position.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 9:45 PM EDT, Tue September 2, 2014
ISIS has published a video titled "A second message to America," showing the beheading of American journalist Steven Sotloff.
updated 9:35 PM EDT, Mon September 1, 2014
Three Americans detained in North Korea spoke out about their conditions and pleaded for U.S. help in interviews with CNN.
Hundreds of jihadis in Syria are from abroad -- which countries have the biggest problem?
updated 3:51 PM EDT, Mon September 1, 2014
CNN attends a funeral where mourners keep their distance.
updated 5:13 AM EDT, Mon September 1, 2014
Libyan militia members have apparently turned the abandoned U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, Libya, into a water park.
updated 7:26 AM EDT, Mon September 1, 2014
A few miles south of the town of Starobeshevo in eastern Ukraine, a group of men in uniform is slumped under a tree.
updated 9:25 PM EDT, Mon September 1, 2014
Beijing says only candidates approved by a nominating committee can run for Hong Kong's chief executive, prompting criticism.
updated 4:23 AM EDT, Fri August 29, 2014
He should be toddling around a playground. Instead, his tiny hands grip an AK-47.
updated 8:23 PM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
Wilson Raj Perumal tells CNN how he rigged World Cup games: "I was giving orders to the coach."
updated 8:21 AM EDT, Tue September 2, 2014
In a major breach of privacy, a hacker leaked a series of pictures allegedly showing Jennifer Lawrence and other female celebrities in the nude.
Instead of weaving garments sold in the West, children should be in school
According to the International Labour Organization, there are 168 million child laborers around the world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT