Government troops in Colombia have rescued three senior officers held hostage by FARC rebels for nearly 12 years.
General Luis Mendieta, seen here, is one of the highest ranking and longest serving captives freed.
The security drive, backed by the US, continues to batter the Marxist rebels and comes as Colombians prepare to vote for President Alvaro Uribe’s successor.
He spoke about the on-going operation in the Guaviare jungle where troops are trying to free a fourth hostage.
The rescue of Mendieta is the highest profile operation since a 2008 mission that saw the release of presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt.
Once a powerful peasant army, FARC has found the going tough during President Uribe’s eight years in office.