Colombian security forces free long-held Farc hostages

June 14, 2010 03:47

Colombian security forces have rescued two senior police officers and a soldier who had been held hostage by Marxist rebels for almost 12 years.

BBC News

Gen Luis Mendieta, Col Enrique Murillo and Sgt Arbey Delgado were freed from a guerrilla camp in Guaviare.

Police say the military operation continues to rescue a fourth hostage, Lt Col William Donato.

The four are among the Farc’s longest-held captives.

Defence Minister Gabriel Silva said Col Donato had fled into the jungle during the raid.

“We have high hopes that he is in hiding and that he will be found in the coming hours,” he said.

‘Birthday present’

President Alvaro Uribe told journalists about the release of Gen Mendieta and Col Murillo at a news conference after he took a call from the commander of the army, Gen Oscar Gonzalez.

The rescue of Sgt-Maj Delgado was announced later on Sunday.

President Uribe said the operation had been planned for months and that Gen Mendieta, who turned 53 on Sunday, was in good health.

Gen Mendieta’s daughter, Yenny, told a Colombian radio station she could not believe the news and was looking forward to speaking to her father as soon as possible.

His wife Maria Teresa said she was the happiest woman in the world.


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