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Colombia's President Renounces Prisoner Swap


Colombian President Alvaro Uribe has withdrawn his offer to negotiate a prisoner exchange with leftist rebels, after blaming them for a car bombing in Bogata.

Mr. Uribe addressed the nation Friday, a day after a bomb at a military university in the Colombian capital wounded 23 people. He said the only remaining option is a military rescue of some 60 prisoners held by the FARC rebels.

The Colombia president had earlier indicated he might be willing to swap those prisoners, who include former presidential candidate and French national Ingrid Betancourt as well as three U.S. citizens, for rebels held in government prisons.

Betancourt's mother, Alvaro Levya, said the president's speech today amounts to a death sentence for her daughter.

The explosion of a sport utility vehicle took place in a parking lot Thursday morning.

The commander of the army, General Mario Montoya, was attending an event at the university at the time of the blast, but he was unharmed.

Colombia has been fighting a leftist insurgency for 40 years.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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