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Colombia military claims 14 FARC rebels killed in raid

The Colombian military has said it killed 14 FARC rebels in a raid on a camp near the Venezuelan border. The leftist fighters were reportedly from a unit responsible for an ambush that killed 14 soldiers in August.

The bodies of those killed during the raid were shown to reporters in Aruca state on Monday. The air and ground attack on the FARC camp located near the town of Tame, in a rural area near the border with Venezuela, was carried out Sunday night, the military said in a statement.

In addition to the 14 killed in the attack, one rebel was wounded and another surrendered.

The army said the rebels killed were part of a FARC group behind a series of sabotage attacks on oil installations, as well as an August ambush that killed 14 soldiers.

President Juan Manuel Santos' government has been engaged in Cuba-brokered peace talks with FARC since November 2012, but he has nonetheless vowed to continue its military campaign against the rebels until a deal is achieved.

The Colombian army says it killed 250 FARC rebels last year, including seven front commanders. A further 1,150 were captured, it says.

Despite the latest violence, Santos said Monday he wants the peace negotiations to end this year.

"We have to finish up by the end of the year because these processes… start to get worn out and the parties no longer show the same interest… We don't want the process to get so worn out that it falls apart," Santos said in an interview with Caracol TV.

Around 7,000 to 8,000 FARC rebels have been fighting the government since the group was established in 1964.

dr/lw (AFP, AP)

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