BOGOTA, COLOMBIA: The Colombian Army on Tuesday informed that a FARC rebel commander was killed during an operation executed on early Monday, local media reported.
General Alberto Mejia Ferrero said that the Army, the Air Force and local police forces worked together in a joint operation in Antioquia, northern Colombia against the ninth front of the rebel armed group FARC.
Five people were killed and General Mejia said that four bodies have been recovered and another one is missing, the one of the commander of the front, Jose Luis Naranjo, also known as "Gabriel."
The operation took place in the first hours of Monday and targeted FARC camps in the west and southwest of Antioquia where the ninth front of the group operates. Colombian authorities estimate that after the operation, the front only has about 15 members.
In addition to Gabriel, the joint operation killed his girlfriend "Marta" and one of his bodyguards only known as "El cura" (The Priest). Colombian soldiers also seized personal belongings of Gabriel found at the camp.
General Mejia added that Gabriel had been a FARC member for over 20 years. He was appointed as commander of the 9th front after the previous leader, Ruben Gacia Gomez (aka "Danilo") was killed.
Soldiers also captured a FARC soldier identified as David, who was injured during the operation. Overall, three AK-47, 1 shotgun, 3 rifles, a handgun and ammunition were secured by the army.
The operation took place as the FARC failed to release two captive army service men. On Tuesday, Admiral Edgar Cely said that the military operations will be suspended if the rebel group delivers the coordinates where the liberation of the two officials will take place.
The release of the abducted men was supposed to happen on Sunday in Tolima. Eduardo Pizarro, the man in charge of negotiating the releases with FACR, said that the Colombian government will not tolerate another broken compromise from the rebel group.
(BNO NEWS )