Colombian rebels mount offensive, 45 killed

Forty-five Colombian police, soldiers and guerrilla fighters have been killed over the past week as leftist rebels launch attacks meant to show they are still a threat after an eight-year U.S.-backed security push.

President Juan Manuel Santos took office last month, promising to keep up pressure on the drug-running insurgents.

Colombians have come to expect a step-up in guerrilla violence at times of government transitions. But even with 45 deaths in one week, the current wave of assaults has had less impact than those seen during past changes in government.

The more than four-decades-old Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) has staged several attacks this month.

In one, it rocketed a police convoy, dousing the corpses of 14 officers with gasoline and torching them. In another, it struck a police station with homemade missiles, killing six.

Hugh Bronstein

Bogota | Thu Sep 9, 2010

Reuters

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