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Colombian rebels free last military hostages

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Colombian rebels free last military hostages

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It was a happy landing for FARC’s last 10 police and military hostages, flying into freedom after finally being released by the Colombian rebels.

Family reunions were a moment to savour at Villavicencio airport, 110 kilometres south of Bogota. The captives, all in uniform, had spent up to 14 years in jungle prisons.

The government won’t talk to the FARC as long as it continues to hold up to 700 civilians captive.

But Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos said: “We salute those released with real emotion and we congratulate their families from our hearts. We share their happiness. This liberation, and above all, the FARC’s promise not to return to kidnapping, is a gesture that we value and appreciate.”

The FARC has suffered setbacks in recent years and some see the freeing of its last military hostages as a sign of hope that one day Latin America’s oldest insurgency might come to an end.