Two guerrillas belonging to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia were killed in combat with security forces just four days after a new peace deal was signed to end a half century of fighting.
The army in a statement said that they launched a manhunt for what it thought were members of the smaller National Liberation Army who had reportedly been extorting local ranchers and businesses in a lawless area of northern Bolivar state.
But a third gunman captured said he and his fellow gunmen belonged to the FARC’s 37th front.
Colombia’s government and FARC signed a peace accord in September that was rejected in a plebiscite last month.
The two sides finalized 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 Oct. 2 of the original peace accord. Until they disarm, rebels remain in predetermined areas and must provide co-ordinates to the military if they want to leave.
The rebels have yet to comment about the deaths. But the government is trying to preemptively stem any fallout saying the rebels extorting people were 68 kilometres from where they are gathering to turn over their weapons to United Nations-sponsored peace monitors.