Rebels are stepping up attacks in northern Colombia to distract troops who are searching for eight foreign backpackers kidnapped in the snowcapped mountains of Sierra Nevada, Colombia’s president said Saturday. The Colombian armed forces are conducting a massive search operation for four Israelis, two Britons, a German and a Spaniard who were seized Sept. 12 from rustic cabins in the archaeological ruins of Ciudad Perdida, or the Lost City. Since Friday, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, has been accused of bombing a train carrying coal and blowing up a gas pipeline and two electrical towers in the region, according to the army. “The intelligence reports we have indicate that commanders of the FARC have given militants orders to carry out attacks to divert the pressure of the security forces in the Sierra Nevada,” President Alvaro Uribe told reporters. Full Story
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