- The Washington Times - Monday, February 2, 2009

BOGOTA — The International Red Cross says Colombian rebels have freed four hostages — three policemen and a soldier — in their first unilateral release of captives in nearly a year.

The four were picked up in the country’s southeastern jungles by a Brazilian military helicopter loaned to the International Red Cross, which organized the mission.

A reporter accompanying the release has complained that the mission was hounded by military overflights that delayed the handover. The government calls those allegations unfounded.

Red Cross spokesman Yves Heller says the four freed hostages were bound for the eastern provincial capital of Villavicencio, where relatives spent an anxious Sunday awaiting them.

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