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Colombian FARC Rebels Free Ex-Governor


The International Committee of the Red Cross says Colombian leftist rebels have freed a former governor held hostage for more than seven years.

The humanitarian group Tuesday announced the release of Alan Jara, who had been kidnapped by FARC rebels in 2001.

Jara was to have been freed on Monday, but the handover was delayed. Jara's release comes two days after the FARC guerrillas released three police officers and a soldier who were abducted more than one year ago.

The FARC is expected to free another hostage, Sigifredo Lopez, this week.

The rebels are believed to be holding hundreds of people in jungle hideouts for ransom or political leverage. Although the FARC is Colombia's most powerful rebel group, it has been seriously weakened in recent years by the government.

Last year, Colombian soldiers posing as members of a humanitarian group freed 15 hostages, including French-Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt and three American citizens.

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