US Hostage Released by Colombian Rebels
Kevin Scott Sutay, 26, freed after 4 months
By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 27, 2013 2:33 PM CDT
A Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, FARC, rebel stands guard on a hill before the release of two other hostages earlier this year.   (AP Photo/Juan B. Diaz)

(Newser) – A US hiker being held captive by guerrilla fighters in Colombia has been released, according to a statement by the Cuban and Norwegian governments. The two countries are sponsoring peace talks between the FARC rebel group and the Colombian government, and the release of US military vet Kevin Scott Sutay was a condition for the negotiations to continue, the BBC reports. Sutay, 26, who spent four months in captivity, was handed off to Red Cross representatives this morning, and is said to be in "good" physical condition.

"The United States is profoundly grateful to the Government of Colombia and commends its tireless efforts to secure his release," John Kerry said in a statement today, per CNN. Sutay, who served in Afghanistan, was taken captive in July while on a backpacking trip through Central and South America, ignoring police warning that he was hiking through a known rebel area, Reuters reports.
 

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