Colombian rebels free four kidnapped tourists

March 6th, 2008 - 10:44 pm ICT by admin  

Bogota, March 6 (DPA) The leftist Colombian rebels have released four of six tourists they kidnapped in January at a beach surrounded by jungle in the north-western Colombian province of Choco, bordering Panama. The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) handed over the four hostages Wednesday to officials of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Choco.

“We are very happy about our release,” said Cesar Hoyos, one of the hostages. “I do not know why the other two people were not released.”

Of the two tourists still held by the rebels, one is Colombian and the other holds dual, Norwegian-Colombian citizenship.

January 13, about 10 FARC rebels held up 19 tourists, finally kidnapping six of them.

The FARC, a Marxist group that has been fighting the Colombian state for over 40 years, currently holds over 700 hostages, some of them held for over 10 years.

The group wants to exchange about 40 politicians (including former presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt, held for over six years) and military and police officers for at least 500 imprisoned rebels.

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