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Betancourt to Return to Colombia 'In a Few Days'


Former hostage Ingrid Betancourt says she plans to return in a few days to Colombia, where she was held by FARC rebels for six years before her rescue last week.

Betancourt, a citizen of both France and Colombia, discussed her future plans in an interview published Sunday in France by the weekly newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche. She said she wants to write a play about her experiences while in captivity.

She also sent a radio message from Paris to hostages still in rebel hands, urging them not to lose hope. Radio France International said Betancourt would send another message to the hostages on Monday.

A report in Chile in La Nacion newspaper says that country's president, Michelle Bachelet, plans to nominate Betancourt for the Nobel Peace Prize. Betancourt is a former Colombian presidential candidate.

On Friday, the U.S. national Independence Day holiday, three American men freed at the same time as Betancourt issued a statement of thanks to the Colombian and American governments.

The former hostages called Colombia's 40-year struggle with the FARC rebels a shining testament to the great spirit of the Colombian people.

Colombian military officials discovered a ton of explosives Saturday at a residence in a rural area outside the capital, Bogota. Military authorities say the explosives were hidden there by the FARC, also known as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

Officials in Bogota said Saturday the rebels may have been planning a massive bombing as a reprisal attack following Wednesday's rescue of 15 hostages - 11 Colombians as well as Betancourt and the three Americans.

The FARC, listed as a terrorist group by the United States, Colombia and the European Union, is believed to be holding more than 700 additional hostages in jungle locations.

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


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