Colombia accused, Tuesday, the country's FARC rebels of seeking to buy radioactive material for use in "dirty bombs". Meanwhile, Ecuador and Venezuela severed diplomatic ties with Colombia. (Report: K.Spencer)
GENEVA - Colombia said on Tuesday that FARC rebels had been planning to make a "dirty bomb" with radioactive material, threatening the entire Latin American region.
The charges by Vice-President Francisco Santos, at the
United Nations-sponsored Conference on Disarmament, marked a
dramatic turn in a regional crisis that has seen Venezuela and
Ecuador cut diplomatic ties with Colombia.
Bogota has already accused Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez
of funding the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC)
guerrillas, after Colombian forces crossed into Ecuador and
killed a senior rebel commander on Saturday, sparking troop
movements and warnings of war.
"Just yesterday (Monday) our national police submitted an
initial report regarding the content of two computers found with
Raul Reyes, second in command of FARC, who was killed last
Saturday," Santos said.
They contained "information from one commander to another
indicating that FARC was apparently negotiating for radioactive
material, the primary basis for generating dirty weapons of mass
destruction and terrorism," he added.
Initial information verified with international support
showed "terrorist groups, based on the economic power of drug
trafficking, constitute a serious threat not to just our country
but to the entire Andean and Latin American region," he said.
Saturday's raid was a major blow to Latin America's oldest
rebel group but also eliminated a key contact for governments
such as France, Venezuela and Ecuador who are in talks to free
hostages held by FARC for years in jungle camps.
Chavez has brokered the release of six captives since the
start of the year in those talks. The anti-U.S. leader has
denied Colombia's charges that he was funding FARC.
Date created : 2008-03-04