BOGOTA – Soldiers captured 10 suspected FARC and ELN guerrillas in southwestern Colombia, while six other members of the two rebel groups deserted, the army said.
The rebels were detained during military operations on Friday in rural areas outside the cities of Barbacoas and Morales, located in Nariño and Cauca provinces, respectively.
Five Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, guerrillas were captured in Barbacoas, the army brigade based in Popayan, the capital of Cauca, said.
The FARC rebels were armed with rifles, handguns, a mortar and other weapons.
Five National Liberation Army, or ELN, rebels were captured after firefights in Morales, the army said.
Soldiers seized two machine guns, three rifles and other equipment from the rebels.
Four ELN deserters and two FARC deserters, meanwhile, surrendered to soldiers in Cauca and Nariño, the army said.
The deserters turned in four rifles, eight ammunition clips, ammunition and explosives to the army.
President Juan Manuel Santos’s administration and the FARC plan to hold talks to lay out the framework for a peace dialogue.
FARC representatives said in Havana earlier this month that the first meeting with government negotiators would take place on Oct. 8 in Oslo.
The Cuban capital will be the main venue for the negotiations after the talks start in Norway.
The FARC and the security forces have continued fighting despite the steps being taken toward a dialogue to end Colombia’s 50-year-old armed conflict.
Santos said military operations targeting the FARC and other illegal armed groups would continue.