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Colombian Rebels Place Conditions on Talks with Government

Colombia's main rebel group has insisted the government pull troops out of two mountain towns before it will take part in face-to-face meetings.

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, issued a statement to President Alvaro Uribe, calling on the government to pull troops out of two towns in the Valle del Cauca region.

Mr. Uribe has rejected the request.

Last month, the Colombian government offered to to meet with the FARC at a time and a place of their choosing to discuss a possible prisoner swap.

The leftist rebel group is said to be holding 59 hostages, including three Americans.

FARC, along with a smaller rebel group and rightist paramilitaries, is locked in a long-running war with the government that kills thousands of people each year.

Some information for this report provided by AP, Reuters.