Colombian rebels to free six hostagesJanuary 31st, 2009 - 11:57 am ICT by IANS
Bogota, Jan 31 (IANS) Colombia’s largest leftist rebel group will free from its captivity six hostages, including two politicians and security personnel, EFE reported.The hostages will be released in three stages, Colombia’s Senator Piedad Cordoba said, adding that the four security personnel would be freed Sunday, while former governor Alan Jara and former lawmaker Sigifredo Lopez would be handed over Monday and Wednesday, respectively.
The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) unilaterally announced the release of the six hostages five weeks ago.
A humanitarian mission, comprising Senator Cordoba and aid agency the Red Cross, among others, have already left for Sao Gabriel da Cachoeira town in Brazil to receive the hostages, the report said Friday.
The delegation will return to Colombia in civilian helicopters to be provided by the Brazilian authorities, it said.
The Red Cross Thursday called on the Colombian armed forces to suspend military operations for at least 36 hours in the areas where the hostages are to be released.
The FARC has been fighting the Colombian security forces for several decades to establish leftist rule in the country. Last year, the Colombian security forces rescued former presidential candidate and French-Colombian citizen Ingrid Betancourt from FARC’s captivity.
The US and the European Union have designated the FARC as foreign terrorist organisation.
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