Two suspected fighters belonging to the FARC have been killed in combat with security forces in Colombia, just four days after a new peace deal was signed to end half a century of fighting.
The fighters were killed in combat – with a third one surrendering – in the northern Bolivar province when they left their predetermined zone carrying weapons, the military said on Wednesday.
“Fighting took place in the south of the Bolivar department, and guerrillas who claimed to belong to the FARC were killed,” Humberto de la Calle, the government’s chief peace negotiator, told Caracol television.
“The defence ministry holds that there was an illegal operation there.”
Al Jazeera’s Alessandro Rampietti, reporting from Bogota, said the soldiers were tipped off by the local community.
“The Colombian army says that the soldiers were tipped off by the local community who told them that armed men were operating in the region extorting money,” he said.
The two sides finalised a revised deal over the weekend that aims to end 52 years of conflict that has killed more than 220,000 people and displaced millions.
Thousands of FARC fighters have been left in limbo by the rejection on October 2 of the original peace accord.
Until they disarm, the fighters remain in predetermined areas and must provide coordinates to the military if they want to leave.
President Juan Manuel Santos ordered the ceasefire with the FARC in August.
The government and the ELN, the second largest guerrilla group, had planned to launch public peace talks on October 27 in Quito.
President Juan Manuel Santos cancelled the negotiations after the fighters failed to release Otis Sanchez, a former member of congress.