Colombia says FARC rebels executed hostages
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Colombia’s FARC rebels have killed at least four military hostages, the country’s defense minister said on Saturday, in the guerrilla group’s most violent act since the armed forces killed its leader, Alfonso Cano, in a raid earlier this month.
AP - Colombia’s defense minister says four security force members held by the country’s main rebel group have been found slain.
Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon says all four were killed execution-style, three with shots to the head and one with a shot to the back.
He told reporters in a brief appearance that their bodies were found Saturday morning during a military operation in the country’s south.
He did not name the four but blamed the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC.
The FARC is known to hold about 20 security force members, some for more than 13 years.
Four security force members held by Colombia’s main rebel group were found slain Saturday, the defense minister said.
All four were killed execution-style, three with shots to the head and one with a shot to the back, Juan Carlos Pinzon told reporters in a brief appearance.
He said the bodies were found following combat in the country’s south between troops and rebels.
He did not name the four or take questions, but blamed the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC.
“They were cruelly murdered with coups de grace,” Pinzon said. He said that chains were found with the bodies.
The FARC is known to hold about 20 security force members, some for more than 13 years, and typically binds them with chains.
It would not be the first time the FARC has slain captives when under military pressure.
In June 2007, FARC fighters killed 11 regional lawmakers they had been holding for five years, apparently under the mistaken belief they were under attack by government forces.
In 2003, FARC fighters killed 10 captives, including a former defense minister and governor, during an attempted rescue when they heard approaching military helicopters.
Latin America’s last remaining rebel army, the FARC took up arms in 1964 and has suffered a series of recent setbacks including the combat death earlier this month of its leader, Alfonso Cano.
It is believed to comprise about 9,000 fighters.