FARC rebels kill 18 in Colombia

February 10th, 2009 - 12:25 pm ICT by IANS  

Bogota, Feb 10 (IANS) At least 18 people have been killed by leftist rebels in a settlement in Colombia, EFE news agency reported Tuesday.

According to the National Indigenous Organization of Colombia (ONIC), the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas have killed at least 18 Awa Indians in recent days in southwestern Colombia’s Narino province. It feared that the death toll could be even higher.

“We fear from the fragmentary information received that as many as 18 could have died,” ONIC President Luis Evelis Andrade said, warning that the magnitude of the incident will only be known when a commission of Indians from the area reach Pasto, the provincial capital.

The Indian leader said that the people were killed between Feb 4-6 on the Tortugana Telembi reservation.

Awa leaders in recent times have reported death threats from FARC guerrillas, who blame the Indians for President Alvaro Uribe’s recent decision to establish the so-called Unified Southern Command in that region, the ONIC president said.

“What has occurred creates a really delicate situation, and we suspect that (the killers) were the FARC,” Andrade said.

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