Guerrilla wants guarantees in order to return the delegation to Cuba

The National Liberation Army (ELN) makes demands to return to peace talks, which were halted following an attack by the group in Bogotá that killed 21 people

"We expect the government to provide guarantees for the return of this delegation of ten men," Pablo Beltran, chief negotiator of the ELN, said in an interview with the French news agency AFP.

Beltran said his armed group, which claimed the attack, responded only to the "attacks" of the government. "No one asked us to stand idly by if we were attacked," he said.

ELN rebels, on Monday, claimed the attack that killed 21 people and wounded 68 in Bogota, Colombia's capital, on Thursday.

"The operation carried out against these facilities and troops is lawful within the framework of the right to war. There were no noncombatant victims," the ELN said in a statement posted on the Colombian guerrilla 'website'.

On Friday, the Colombian government had already attributed to the ELN the car-bomb attack on a police academy in Bogota.

"It has become clear to all of Colombia that the ELN does not really want peace," Colombian President Iván Duque said, citing a long list of kidnappings and attacks attributed to the guerrillas since the beginning of the peace negotiations in 2017 with the former head of state Juan Manuel Santos.

Duke ended the peace talks with the rebel movement following the attack.

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