AERIAL ATTACK KILLS 13 FARC REBELS IN COLOMBIA
By Jeremy McDermott
Thirteen Colombian rebels have been killed in an aerial bombardment, among them two leaders.
The guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc) were trying to retake a strategic mountain area near the Caribbean coast when they were attacked.
They were sent on the operation by the movement's number two leader, Ivan Marquez, believed to be in Venezuela.
Colombia's president said the operation was a “message” to the Farc leader.
The images of the bombardment show a swathe of jungle flattened and blackened where the planes of the Colombian air force bombed a Farc camp in the Montes de Maria, in the Caribbean province of Bolivar.
The Farc guerrillas were seeking to re-establish their presence in the area, which overlooks the city of Cartagena on the Caribbean coast.
Colombian intelligence sources said that the rebels had been sent by Ivan Marquez, a member of the Farc's seven-man ruling secretariat, and head of the rebels' International Front, which handles the guerrillas' foreign affairs.
President Alvaro Uribe, who has made a relentless war on the Farc the hallmark of his two administrations, sent a message to the rebel leader Ivan Marquez, whom he described as the “diplomat of terror”.
“We know where Ivan Marquez is,” the president said and told him that the military operation was “a message to him” and Farc plans to retake parts of Colombia.