22 Dec 2008

Colombian rebels say six more hostages will be freed

11:53 am on 22 December 2008

FARC rebels in Colombia say they plan to free six hostages from jungle camps over the next few days.

In a statement issued on Sunday and dated 17 December, the rebels said this was a gesture toward reaching a deal on an exchange of their prisoners for jailed fighters.

The statement said two captive politicians and four members of the armed forces held for years would be handed to a left-wing Colombian senator who has helped broker releases in the past.

The rebels said three police officers and one soldier would be released first followed by a former governor, who has been held since 2001, and another politician.

In July, French-Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt and three American hostages were freed in a surprise military operation. But FARC is still holding at least 28 other politicians, soldiers and police.