Bogota – An airstrike on a Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, camp killed 11 rebels and wounded as many as 30 others, but the death toll could rise in the next few hours, Colombian officials told Efe.
"It's possible that the death toll will go up to at least 14," National Police drug enforcement unit chief Gen. Luis Alberto Perez said, adding that army troops and police were heading to the camp.
The air force bombed a camp belonging to the FARC's Antonia Santos unit near Sardinata, a town in Norte de Santander province, on Monday.
The security forces seized eight rifles, two pistols, several mortars and explosives after the air raid.
A total of 342 kilos of cocaine apparently bound for nearby Venezuela were found in Sardinata, officials said.
Eight Colombians transporting the cocaine in two trucks, one of which is registered in Venezuela, were arrested, Perez said.
The drug bust was the product of a joint investigation started a year ago by an elite police anti-extortion unit and drug enforcement agents targeting the FARC's 33rd Front, the general said.
The FARC, Colombia's oldest and largest leftist guerrilla group, was founded in 1964, has an estimated 8,000 fighters and operates across a large swath of this Andean nation.
The Colombian government has made fighting the FARC a top priority and has obtained billions in U.S. aid for counterinsurgency operations.
The FARC, whose leader is Alfonso Cano, has suffered a series of setbacks in recent years.
The FARC's military chief, Jorge Briceño Suarez, known as "Mono Jojoy," was killed in an airstrike on Sept. 23, 2010.
On July 2, 2008, the Colombian army rescued former presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt, U.S. military contractors Thomas Howes, Keith Stansell and Marc Gonsalves, and 11 other Colombian police officers and soldiers.
The FARC had been trying to trade the 15 captives, along with 25 other "exchangeables," for hundreds of jailed guerrillas.
The rebels' most valuable bargaining chip was Betancourt, a dual Colombian-French citizen the FARC seized in February 2002 whose plight became a cause celebre in Europe.
FARC founder Manuel Marulanda, who was known as "Sureshot," died on March 26, 2008.
Three weeks earlier, Colombian forces staged a cross-border raid into Ecuador, killing FARC second-in-command Raul Reyes and setting off a regional diplomatic crisis.
Ivan Rios, a high-level FARC commander, was killed that same month by one of his own men, who cut off the guerrilla leader's hand and presented it to army troops, along with identification documents, as proof that the rebel chief was dead.
A succession of governments have battled Colombia's leftist insurgent groups since the mid-1960s.
In 1999, then-President Andres Pastrana allowed the creation of a Switzerland-sized "neutral" zone in the jungles of southern Colombia for peace talks with the FARC.
After several years of fitful and ultimately fruitless negotiations, Pastrana ordered the armed forces to retake the region in early 2002. But while the arrangement lasted, the FARC enjoyed free rein within the zone.
The FARC is on both the U.S. and EU lists of terrorist groups. Drug trafficking, extortion and kidnapping-for-ransom are the FARC's main means of financing its operations.