Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

REPORTERS

Exclusive: an unlikely victim of the 'War on Terror'

Read more

#THE 51%

Sweden: A Feminist's Paradise?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Politics: parties under pressure

Read more

FOCUS

In Burma, the rise of radical Buddhism

Read more

ENCORE!

Haute Couture: the hand-stitched clothing made in Paris that sells for the price of small yachts

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Caution, another Cast Lead lies ahead'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Rising into the ranks of Haute Couture

Read more

DEBATE

Gaza: How to Stop the Spiral? Israel Readies For Ground Offensive

Read more

DEBATE

Gaza: How to Stop the Spiral? Israel Readies For Ground Offensive (part 2)

Read more

  • Exclusive: an unlikely victim of the 'War on Terror'

    Read more

  • The third-place playoff: the World Cup game no one wants to play

    Read more

  • Suspect in Brussels Jewish Museum shooting drops extradition appeal

    Read more

  • Kurdish forces take over two oilfields in northern Iraq

    Read more

  • Are French high school students getting smarter?

    Read more

  • Italy’s Trentin wins seventh stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • Disgraced Suarez leaves Liverpool for Barcelona

    Read more

  • In pictures: Chanel, Dior and so much more at the Paris couture shows

    Read more

  • French ‘Civic Service’ eyes massive expansion amid huge demand

    Read more

  • Amazon snubs French free delivery ban with one-cent charge

    Read more

  • In Pictures: Petrol station hit by Hamas rockets

    Read more

  • Manhunt as FIFA partner flees Rio hotel to avoid arrest

    Read more

  • Video: Living in Tel Aviv, under threat of rocket attack

    Read more

  • Video: Palestinians fear full Israeli military offensive in Gaza

    Read more

  • Ukrainian forces close in on Donetsk

    Read more

Officials confirm second FARC leader killed in Colombia

©

Latest update : 2008-03-07

Colombian officials confirmed on Friday the killing of leading FARC rebel Ivan Rios on Colombian territory, days after another leader was slayed in Ecuador. Yet opinion differs over who is the killer.

A top-ranking leader of Colombia's FARC rebel group was killed Friday -- the second in less than a week, but officials differed as to whether he was slain by Colombian soldiers or his own men.
   
An official with the justice ministry's prosecution department said Ivan Rios, one of the seven members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia's central high command of, was killed by troops in western Colombia.
   
But another official with the defense ministry claimed Rios -- whose real name is Manuel Munoz Ortiz -- was killed by "by his own men to earn the reward" offered by the government.
   
The officials were speaking separately to AFP on condition of anonymity.
   
Rios was the second member of the seven-strong FARC secretariat to be slain, following a Colombian military operation Saturday just inside Ecuador that killed Raul Reyes, the rebel group's number two leader.
   
That strike caused outrage across Latin America and sparked a serious row with Ecuador and its ally Venezuela, both of which deployed troops to their border with Colombia.
   
The two Colombian officials speaking about the latest blow against the FARC said Rios, aged in his 40s, was killed Friday in Samana, a village in western Colombia, 400 kilometers (250 miles) from the capital.
   
The official with the prosecutor's office said: "We can confirm that Ivan Rios, a member of the FARC's secretariat, died in this operation by the army and the CTI (the office's Technical Investigation Corps)."
   
But the defense ministry official said other guerrillas had taken Rios's life for the 2.6-million-dollar bounty Bogota had put on the his head.
   
Colombia's Radio Caracol supported that version, saying that three men approached an army batallion in the western city of Manizales and told the garrison commander that they had killed Rios. They reportedly delivered a severed hand as proof.
   
Rios had been reportedly living in Venezuela, Colombian Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos said in January.
   
He was believed to have been a go-between with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who this year has received six hostages released by the FARC.
   
Venezuelan media reported that Chavez had met Rios and other FARC leaders on November 2 last year to arrange the hostage release.
   
Rios, a seminarist before joining the FARC, was believed to be the youngest member of the secretariat and considered one of the closest aides to FARC founder and chief Manuel Marulanda, who is in his late 70s.
   
Rios joined the high command in 2003 to replace one of FARC's founders, Efrain Guzman, who died of an illness.
   
Founded in 1964 with the stated goal of toppling the Colombian government, FARC currently has between 6,000 and 8,000 fighters, according to the government. It is considered a terrorist group by Europe and the United States.

Date created : 2008-03-07

Comments

COMMENT(S)