Betancourt, 3 US Hostages Freed From FARC Rebels

Colombia claims to have rescued 15
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 2, 2008 2:59 PM CDT
Ingrid Betancourt, a former Colombian presidential candidate being held hostage by leftist rebels since Feb. 23, 2002, is seen during a political event in Paris, France.   (AP Photo/Laurent Emmanuel)
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(Newser) – Colombia's military has freed 15 hostages—including former presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt and three US contractors—from Maoist rebel group FARC, the AP reports. Colombia's defense minister announced the rescue today, saying that army commandos captured rebels manning a security ring around the hostages and got them to persuade their comrades to turn over the captives, without any loss of life. The minister says the other 11 hostages freed were Colombian soldiers and police.