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Colombia's President Pledges Tough Action Against Rebels


Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos, 20 Aug 2010

Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos, 20 Aug 2010

The new Colombian president, Juan Manuel Santos, is vowing to step up his predecessor's military crackdown against leftist rebels, following an attack this week that left 14 police officers dead.

President Santos met Friday with top generals in the southern state of Caqueta, where the officers were killed in a roadside bomb attack blamed on the rebel Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC.

The Colombian leader offered his condolences to the families of the officers killed, and offered a $275,000 reward for information leading to the capture of a FARC rebel commander known as Wilmer, who is suspected of masterminding the attack. The FARC is Colombia's largest rebel group.

Also Friday, authorities say a bombing raid involving the Colombian Air Force killed 15 members of the leftist National Liberation Army, or ELN, in eastern Arauca state, near Venezuela. The ELN is Colombia's second-largest guerrilla group.

The United States has designated both the FARC and the ELN as terrorist organizations.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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