Two FARC rebels killed in combat just days after peace deal with Colombian gov't

Two guerrillas belonging to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) were killed in combat with security forces just four days after a new peace deal was signed to end a half century of fighting.

In a statement, the Colombian Army said that the deaths occurred as a result of a manhunt for what it thought were members of the smaller National Liberation Army (ELN, for its name in Spanish) 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.

According to The Guardian, senior FARC leader Iván Márquez said the fighters were heading to the concentration zone.

The government is trying to preemptively stem any fallout saying the rebels were 42 miles from where they are gathering to turn over their weapons to United Nations-sponsored peace monitors.

The government’s chief negotiator Humberto de la Calle said the incident underlines the need for a speedy resolution, the Guardian also reported.

“There is a discrepancy in the narratives. That doesn’t matter, but what is important is the lesson: [the ceasefire] is fragile; we cannot delay,” he told the paper.

With reporting by the Associated Press.

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