Colombia 'seizes uranium' from leftist guerrillas

Colombia claimed it grabbed at least 30 kilograms (66 pounds) of uranium from the country's biggest left-wing rebel group on Wednesday.

Colombia 'seizes uranium' from leftist guerrillas
Colombia claimed it grabbed at least 30 kilograms (66 pounds) of uranium from the country's biggest left-wing rebel group on Wednesday, the first time radioactive material has been linked to the bloody four-decade-old guerrilla war.

The material was found in a rural area long considered a guerrilla stronghold just south of the capital city Bogota. It is being examined by state experts, said a Defense Ministry statement.

The statement did not say where the uranium came from or what it could be used for.

"This appears to have been part of a black market operation that the guerrillas were trying to use to make money," said Pablo Casas, an analyst at Bogota think-tank Security & Democracy.

"This is new for Colombia and could bring the FARC into the major leagues of black market terrorist transactions," Casas said.

The group says it is fighting a communist insurgency meant to close the wide gap between rich and poor in this Andean country. The war kills, displaces or maims thousands every year.

Agencies
Last Mod: 27 Mart 2008, 14:43
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