[R-G] Colombia seizes 'Farc' explosives
fentona at shaw.ca
Sat Jul 5 20:10:45 MDT 2008
Colombia seizes 'Farc' explosives
About a ton of explosives were found
just outside Bogota [REUTERS]
The Colombian army has seized about a tonne of explosives hat
officials say were intended to be used in attacks across the capital.
Officials said they suspected the explosives, found on a farm outside
Bogota, were to be used by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia
(Farc) as a reprisal for the army's rescue of 15 hostages held by the
But Monica Villamizar, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Bogota, warned
the army's claims should be treated with some scepticism.
"The military says it was a ton of explosives that would have
allegedly been used in several attacks ... we haven't been able to
confirm that," she said.
"In the past the army has given press conferences and come to
conclusions ... and then its turned out not to be the Farc," she said.
The hostages, including Ingrid Betancourt, the French-Colombian
politician, were rescued on Wednesday when Colombian troops posing as
Farc fighters fooled the rebels into releasing the captives into their
The bloodless rescue of the hostages, including the high-profile
Betancourt, was a severe blow to Farc, who have also lost their leader
and many members this year.
The 15 hostages have been undergoing health check-ups over the past
two days and Betancourt received a clean bill of health on Saturday.
After undergoing a series of medial tests at the Val-de-Grace military
hospital in Paris she said: "The doctors showered me with good news."
"I have had a number of concerns all these years. Now I'm totally happy.
Betancourt, who had been campaigning for the Colombian presidency when
she was captured by the Farc, spent more than six years in captivity.
Al Jazeera's Monica Villamizar said some of the rescued Colombian
hostages have been allowed to return to their families after medical
treatment while some others are still in hospital.
"There are still four soldiers in a military hospital. Rumour has it
that they are not in very good health, that they are highly
traumatised. Some of them were kept hostage in the jungle for up to
nine years," she said.
The Farc have been waging an insurgency against the government for
While they were once considered to be close to overrunning the
government, analysts now say that they are almost defeated.
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