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News > Latin America

Colombian Army Kills 6 ELN Guerrillas in Aerial Bombardment

  • State officials targeted the ELN rebels, the country's second largest guerrilla group.

    State officials targeted the ELN rebels, the country's second largest guerrilla group. | Photo: Reuters

Published 26 November 2015

The attacks highlight the complications of bringing peace to the country, as the government and the FARC inch closer to a final peace deal.

Forces loyal to the Colombian state killed six ELN (National Liberation Army) guerrillas in a series of aerial bombardments on Thursday, in a coordinated attack between the military, air force and federal police.

Authorities have released aerial footage of the attack, which shows Colombian forces targeting and firing at ELN camps in the northern rural community of Arenal in the department of Bolivar.

One wounded guerilla was also captured and arms were seized, according to local media reports.

As the second largest guerilla group in the country, the attacks come as the ELN and the government undergo preliminary talks to see if the two sides can come together​ for more formal peace negotiations.

IN DEPTH: The Colombia Peace Process Explained

The government is already involved in prolonged peace talks with the FARC, known as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, the country's largest guerilla group, who it has been negotiating with for three years. The opposing sides have reached landmark agreements on several issues, including the implementation of a possible bilateral cease-fire by 2016.

The two sides are also negotiating a final peace agreement which could be implemented by March of 2016. Many believe this could put an end to a conflict that has lasted for over 50 years and claimed the lives of over 220,000 people.

However, the recent attacks against the ELN and the continued activity of paramilitary groups operating in the country highlight the fact that peace may be harder to reach.

WATCH: teleSUR’s Interviews from Quito - An Analysis of the Colombian Peace Talks

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