At least 19 killed as rebels, soldiers clash in Colombia
July 22, 2013 -- Updated 0115 GMT (0915 HKT)
- 15 soldiers are killed in one attack, four in another
- 12 rebels are captured, says the president
- The violence comes amid peace talks between the government and the FARC
(CNN) -- At least 19 soldiers were killed over the weekend in separate clashes with rebels in Colombia, the country's president said.
President Juan Manuel Santos reported attacks by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, commonly known as the FARC, in Arauca and Caqueta.
In the department of Arauca, which borders Venezuela, rebels ambushed a group of soldiers guarding an oil pipeline. Fifteen soldiers were killed and 12 rebels were captured, Santos said.
Another four soldiers were killed in Caqueta, which is a department in the south of the country.
"The instructions to our forces are as follows: Don't stop shooting, even for an instant until we reach the end of the conflict," the president said, according to his office.
Santos vowed operations will continue until those responsible are held to account.
The violence comes amid peace talks between the government and the FARC. The two sides have been at war since the 1960s.
Santos has said he wants talks, which started last year and are taking place in Cuba, wrapped up by November.
There have been sporadic attempts at peace in the past.
The last effort fell apart in 2002. Then-President Andres Pastrana ceded an area the size of Switzerland to the guerrilla group, but he ended negotiations after rebels launched a series of attacks across the country in an apparent bid to strengthen their position.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
November 24, 2014 -- Updated 0051 GMT (0851 HKT)
Where do hip young things hang out in Taiwan?
November 24, 2014 -- Updated 0118 GMT (0918 HKT)
Stunning stations where your first priority won't be finding the nearest exit.
November 24, 2014 -- Updated 1043 GMT (1843 HKT)
A 30-year-old woman has been charged with attempting to kill a baby police say spent five days down a drain before being discovered by cyclists.
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 0121 GMT (0921 HKT)
If it wasn't for a comic's skit, Bill Cosby would still be America's favorite father, says expert.
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 1550 GMT (2350 HKT)
Obama orders the most sweeping overhaul of U.S. immigration in decades, prioritizing the deportation of "felons, not families."
November 18, 2014 -- Updated 2106 GMT (0506 HKT)
Fighters loyal to ISIS are now in control of Derna, a city on Libya's Mediterranean coast.
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 2319 GMT (0719 HKT)
China and likely other countries have the capacity to shut down the U.S. power grid, says the NSA.
November 19, 2014 -- Updated 1945 GMT (0345 HKT)
The founder of a U.S. nonprofit that works with returning soldiers is named CNN's Hero of the Year.
November 17, 2014 -- Updated 1738 GMT (0138 HKT)
A Syrian cleric condemns ISIS and its execution of U.S. hostage Peter Kassig.
November 18, 2014 -- Updated 1729 GMT (0129 HKT)
TV anchor wears the same suit for a year. Female colleague wears new outfit daily. Who gets criticized?
November 24, 2014 -- Updated 1523 GMT (2323 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.