Colombian president orders end to bombing raids on FARC

 Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos on Saturday ordered an end to bombing raids against Marxist-inspired FARC rebels in Latin America`s oldest insurgency.

Bogota: Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos on Saturday ordered an end to bombing raids against Marxist-inspired FARC rebels in Latin America`s oldest insurgency.

"I have issued the order to stop as of today bombing raids against camps where there are members of that group," Santos said in an address at a military event in Cartagena. 

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) have held a one-sided truce since Monday.

This appeared to have encouraged the president. Santos back in April ordered the military to resume air strikes on the FARC guerrillas after they allegedly killed 11 soldiers.

Talks have been held in Havana since November 2012 seeking to end fighting with the leftist insurgency that has stretched over more than four decades.

The discussions resumed Thursday after a break and both parties have agreed in principle to de-escalate hostilities, though sporadic clashes have continued. 

The format of this latest round of talks is different, with negotiators breaking up into working groups to haggle through different issues. 

Two major issues on the agenda include how to compensate victims and the signing of a final peace agreement.

It is the 39th round of talks between the government and the rebels and is scheduled to last 11 days.

The war in Colombia has left an estimated 220,000 dead and forced more than six million people from their homes.

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