At least seven Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, guerrillas died and five others were captured in a military and police operation in a rural portion of Tolima province in southern Colombia, the military high command said Tuesday.

The insurgents belonged to the Heroes de Marquetalia and Alfredo Gonzalez mobile columns and they had joined up to plan assorted operations on the orders of the FARC Secretariat, which functions as the governing body of the rebel organization.

The security operation was launched early Tuesday morning in the municipality of Planadas, in southern Tolima, as soon as intelligence work enabled authorities to locate the guerrillas.

Air force planes swept in to attack, after which troops from the Army Air Assault Division were deployed and made contact with the enemy.

The high command said that it would provide additional information about the operation in the coming hours.

This operation comes after another air strike launched last Sunday morning in eastern Arauca province which killed 14 guerrillas. One rebel also turned himself in to army troops in the vicinity and another was captured.

Meanwhile, the guerrillas have staged two attacks with explosives recently, the first on Jan. 16, the day after the Christmas cease fire declared by the FARC ended, and the second on Tuesday afternoon. One person was killed in each attack. EFE