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Colombian Senator: Rebels to Start Hostage Releases on Sunday


A Colombian senator says leftist FARC rebels will free some of the six hostages they have pledged to release on Sunday.

Opposition Senator Piedad Cordoba made the announcement Wednesday, saying she has received the coordinates of the location of the handover.

Cordoba, who has been an intermediary in the process, did not release the names of the people expected to be freed. She did say the hostages will be turned over to a mission traveling from Brazil, which is expected to provide aircraft to pick them up.

In December, the FARC said it was willing to hand over the six hostages but that it would only do so in the presence of an international representative. The FARC said it wanted someone from either a "brother country" or the international community to be on hand when the hostages are freed.

The rebels and the government have said they will let someone from the International Committee of the Red Cross be present for the release of the hostages, who include two politicians, three police officers and a soldier. Colombian President Alvaro Uribe had said he does not want any other international participation.

In July, the FARC was dealt a blow when soldiers posing as members of a humanitarian group freed 15 prominent hostages, including French-Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt and three Americans. The 15 were freed without a shot being fired.

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

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