FARC Promises to Free Hostages

Colombian rebel group vows to release 10 security force members
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 26, 2012 1:27 PM CST
FARC Promises to Free Hostages
Police officers hold portraits of policemen kidnapped by the FARC during the live broadcasting of a radio program demanding the release of all hostages in Colombia,in Bogota, on February 23, 2012.   (Getty Images)

FARC promises to release 10 security force members currently held hostage and says it will stop its practice of kidnapping people for ransom, the BBC reports. The announcement comes three months after the Colombian rebel group murdered four hostages and sparked huge protests across Colombia. The group, which bankrolls itself with drug trafficking and kidnappings, hasn't said whether it will release civilians now held captive.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos greeted the news, saying it was "an important step" but "not sufficient." So far, the Colombian government has refused to engage in peace talks with FARC until all hostages are released. The nation's military has also been targeting FARC with bombing attacks, killing its top leader last November and longtime military chief in 2010. (More FARC stories.)

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