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| 12/17/2009 12:00:00 AM

Colombia rebel groups Farc and ELN agree 'to unite'

Dec 17--Two of Colombia's biggest rebel groups have announced they intend to unite to fight the country's security forces.

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc) and the National Liberation Army (ELN) said they were "on our way towards working for unity".

Farc and the smaller ELN have deep ideological differences and have fought each other in some regions.

Together they could be a significantly greater danger to the state, says the BBC's Jeremy McDermott.

The surprise announcement was made on a website known for its links with the Farc.

"Our only enemy is North American Imperialism and its oligarchic lackeys," the statement said, a reference to the US which supplies aid and training to the Colombian security forces.

The head of the Colombian armed forces, Gen Freddy Padilla, was dismissive of the news.

"This alliance is impossible," he said. "They dispute territory to control drug-trafficking and have killed one another in the south (of the departments of) Bolivar and Arauca."

Farc has in the past tried to absorb ELN, although the smaller group proved to be stronger than expected, beating back the Farc in several areas.
 
Read more here.
 
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