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Sunday 26 March 2017

Colombian rebels end ceasefire

Ivan Marquez and Pastor Alape arrive for peace talks with Colombia's government. (AP)
Ivan Marquez and Pastor Alape arrive for peace talks with Colombia's government. (AP)

Colombia's largest rebel group is ending a unilateral ceasefire in response to a military raid on a guerrilla camp that killed 26 of its fighters.

A military official said the operation in Cauca province was carried against the 29th Front of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc).

The attack is the biggest blow against Farc since president Juan Manuel Santos's government resumed air raids on guerrilla camps in April following a rebel attack that left 10 soldiers dead.

A rebel leader known by his alias as Pastor Alape issued a Twitter post calling the raid a cold-blooded murder in the dead of night.

Farc said it did not want to lift the five-month-old ceasefire but the constant military pursuit of the rebels made it a necessity.

The announcement does not mean the rebels are walking away from peace talks in Cuba. They urged the government to join them in a bilateral ceasefire so the talks can bring an end to the half-century conflict.

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