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article imageDissident Colombian rebels murder three geologists, army says

By AFP     Sep 20, 2018 in World

Suspected dissident FARC guerrillas murdered three geologists working for a Canadian gold mining company in northwestern Colombia, the army said on Thursday.

The alleged rebels attacked a party representing Continental Gold that was exploring mining deposits. Three other people were injured and one disappeared, the army said in a statement.

A Continental Gold source told AFP the three murdered victims were Colombians.

FARC rebels signed a historic peace accord with the Colombian government in December 2016, transforming themselves into a political party and ending a half century of armed insurrection.

But some dissident members refused to lay down arms and continue to operate in lawless jungle regions rife with drug trafficking violence close to the borders with Ecuador and Venezuela.

The army said an operation to track the culprits was ongoing.

Continental Gold, headquartered in Ontario, said in a statement it knew no details of the attack but "fears the worst."

The attack comes just two weeks after the company denounced another armed assault in which a worker was killed and another injured.

As well as FARC dissidents, who number around 1,200 according to the military, the ELN Marxist rebel group also operates in the same areas.

Since the FARC peace deal, the ELN has been considered the last recognized rebel group fighting government forces, although disarmament negotiations have been held.

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