Colombia troops kill 33 rebels as part of new strategy

March 21, 2012 17:33

BOGOTA - Colombian troops killed 33 FARC rebels on Wednesday in an oil-producing region close to the border with Venezuela, the government said, in one of the harshest blows against the drug-funded group in more than a year.

The attack by ground troops with supporting air strikes was carried out as fighters from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia rested in the plains region of northern Arauca, the government said.

The operation, by Task Force Quiron, forms part of a new strategy by the defense ministry to battle the Marxist guerrillas by destroying key rebel military and financial units as well as tracking down and killing their leaders.

"We are looking for the (FARC units) that have done the most damage to the country," Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon said during a press conference. "These are substantial and permanent hits."

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