Ten killed in Colombia clash with FARC splinter group

About 1,700 members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia are still in the insurgent struggle funded by drug money, Colombian military intelligence say. (AFP)
Updated 03 February 2019
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Ten killed in Colombia clash with FARC splinter group

  • Some 7,000 members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia have laid down their arms
  • About 1,700 are still in the insurgent struggle funded by drug money

BOGOTA: Colombia’s armed forces clashed Saturday with FARC dissident rebels, killing 10 from the group that split from the 2016 peace process.
Army special forces and police launched an operation in Caqueta department, in which a longtime group leader Rodrigo Cadete, 52, was killed.
“Another nine guerrillas we killed; we have several captures and the fighting continues in the region,” Defense chief Guillermo Botero said in a statement in Manizales.
Though some 7,000 members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) laid down their arms, about 1,700 are still in the insurgent struggle funded by drug money, military intelligence says.
With no unified command, dissidents operate in remote areas where they fight other groups to control drug trafficking and drug trafficking routes.
Colombia has experienced relative calm since the 2016 peace deal signed by then-president Juan Manuel Santos and FARC rebels.
With the landmark agreement turning the FARC into a political party, the smaller ELN is considered the last active rebel group in the country.
True to his election promises, President Ivan Duque, who took office last August, has taken a hard line against the ELN, including his demand they release all hostages as a prerequisite to kick-starting their peace process.


Fire sweeps through Bangladesh slum, nine dead

Updated 17 February 2019
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Fire sweeps through Bangladesh slum, nine dead

  • Fires regularly break out in Bangladesh’s slums, where millions live in squalid living conditions

CHITTAGONG, Bangladesh: A fire tore through a slum in southern Bangladesh on Sunday killing at least 9 people and destroying hundreds of shanty homes, police said.
The blaze broke out in the port city of Chittagong at about 3.30 A.M. and raced through the district of bamboo, tin and tarpaulin homes, said local police chief Pranab Chowdhury.
“At least 470 shanties were destroyed by the fire. So far 9 people have died. They included four members of a family,” fire brigade official Hefazatul Islam said.
Fires regularly break out in Bangladesh’s slums, where millions live in squalid living conditions.
Rights groups have in the past alleged some shanty town blazes were deliberate acts of sabotage by developers seeking to free up property to construct multi-story buildings.
“We have seen fires are used as a weapon to evict poor slum dwellers and squatters from government or private property,” rights activist Nur Khan Liton said.