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FARC offer Colombian hostage release

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FARC offer Colombian hostage release


Colombia’s marxist FARC rebels say they plan to free six hostages from jungle camps as a gesture aimed at getting some of their own jailed fighters released from prison. Their message came as dozens of hostages’ relatives held their regular pre-Christmas vigil in the centre of Bogota, to send seasonal messages of support to those still in captivity.

The FARC movement is Latin America’s oldest left-wing insurgency. 24-thousand people have been taken hostage in the past 12 years. Hundreds are still in captivity. The rebels’ communique said two politicians and four members of the security forces, who’ve been held for several years, would be handed over to a left-wing Colombian mediator. A concerted US-backed campaign waged by Colombia’s government has weakened the FARC, and in July, the French-Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt and three Americans were freed in a daring military raid.

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