Government troops captured six rebels including a member of the security team of the leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, the army announced.

Freddy Chona Payares and five other suspected guerrillas were taken in an army operation against the FARC's 33rd Front in Tibu, Norte de Santander department.

Payares, alias "Freddy Chiapas," is believed to be a security insider for FARC leader Timoleon Jimenez, alias Timochenko, and head of the rebel unit's finance commission.

The suspects were involved in collecting and transporting coca paste -- from which cocaine is processed -- to be sent through Venezuela on to Europe and the United States, the army said.

The FARC, which now has 7,000-8,000 troops, has waged an insurgency against the state since the Marxist-inspired force's founding in 1964.

The government and FARC negotiators are negotiating on a peace plan in Cuba.

Four previous attempts at a negotiated settlement of the conflict have ended in failure.