Colombia: February 18, 2005


Fighting in southern Colombia continued, with soldiers moving into rebel camps. At least five soldiers and 30 rebels have been killed. The FARC rebels have been unable to develop effective countermeasures to the helicopters and reconnaissance aircraft the army uses with increasing effectiveness. Army electronic warfare, especially the ability to monitor, or even jam, FARC radio, telephone and cell phone communications, has been another problem for the rebels. The recent intense fighting, with nearly a hundred dead in the last two weeks, spotlighted the military operations against the leftist FARC and ELN. The patrols and raids have been sustained and intense over the last year. In most cases, there were few, if any, deaths among the troops, and dead FARC gunmen doesn't usually arouse the media (it happens too often). But the death of twenty soldiers and police in operations in north and south Colombia, did generate attention, and a lot of angst over which way the fighting was going. The rebels are still losing, but there are still a lot of them, and they continue to make lots of money of the drug business and other criminal activities. 




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