Government troops killed at least 29 rebels in a two-day battle in eastern Colombia, the defense minister said Thursday. One government soldier died and two others were wounded in the fighting in Vichada, a major cocaine-producing state on the Venezuelan border, Defense Minister Martha Lucia Ramirez said. “What’s important here is that the security forces are inserting themselves in the heart of drug trafficking,” she told reporters. The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, known by its Spanish acronym FARC, and a smaller leftist rebel army have been fighting the Colombian government for nearly 40 years. They traffic drugs and kidnap civilians to finance their fight. Earlier this month, the rebels executed 10 hostages, including a state governor, during a botched rescue attempt by elite government troops. Full Story
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