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Colombia to temporarily halt bombing of FARC rebels

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Colombia's armed forces will halt bombing raids against FARC rebels for one month, President Juan Manuel Santos said, in recognition of the unilateral ceasefire declared by the guerrillas, who are in peace talks with the government, reported Aljazeera.

"In regards to the indefinite, unilateral ceasefire declared by the FARC on December 18, we must recognise that they have fulfilled it," Santos said in a televised address on Tuesday.

"For this reason, and to propel the de-escalation of the conflict, I have decided to order the defense ministry and the leaders of the armed forces to cease bombardments over FARC camps for one month," Santos added.
Ceasing aerial raids, which have been the military's most lethal means of attacking the FARC, could possibly be extended if the rebels continue to hold to their ceasefire, said Santos. But he also warned that the military would not shy away from engaging the guerrillas in combat or resuming aerial raids should civilians be threatened or if the FARC resumed hostilities.

The development is seen as a major stride in Colombia's peace process aimed at ending Latin America's longest-running civil war pitting FARC, or the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, against the army. Read more on aljazeera.com

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