Witnesses: Colombians killed by rebels

BOGOTA, Feb. 10 (UPI) -- At least 17 indigenous people have been killed in southern Colombia, allegedly by rebels who accused them of collaborating with the army.

The Daily Telegraph reported Tuesday that the members of the Awa tribe in the southern Colombian province of Narino were killed by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, also known as FARC.


"On the 4th of February the FARC detained a group of indigenous families and accused them of collaborating with the army," said provincial Gov. Antonio Navarro. "One of the young men escaped and has said that they had been tied up and beaten and that they were killing them with knives."

The newspaper reported it took the men nearly two days to reach a town to tell of the alleged atrocities. It was reported that neither aid groups nor officials have reached the cocaine-growing region.

"This is a difficult zone, dense jungle, full of anti-personnel mines and with very aggressive guerrillas who do not hesitate to attack the civilian population," said Ron Redmond, a spokesman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

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