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Colombia's ELN Rebels Free Two Dutch Journalists

  • VOA News

People protest against the kidnapping of Dutch journalists Derk Johannes Bolt and Eugenio Ernest Marie Follender in Bogota, Colombia, June 21, 2017. The banner reads: "Dutch journalists kidnapped, Liberty Now." Bolt and Follender were released by ELN rebels, June 24, 2017.

Leftist rebels in Colombia said Saturday that they had released two Dutch journalists they had kidnapped earlier this week.

Reporter Derk Johannes Bolt and cameraman Eugenio Ernest Marie Follender were released early Saturday to a delegation of Colombian human rights officials in a rural area of Norte de Santander state.

A tweet from Colombia's Marxist ELN rebel group said the two "have been released in perfect condition."

Bolt said after his release that the two men had been treated well.

The men were snatched Monday in El Tarra, the northeast region of the Andean nation.

ELN, Colombia's second-largest rebel group, is in talks with the government to end five decades of war. FARC, the largest rebel group, signed a peace deal last year with the government.

Leftist rebels began fighting a guerrilla war to topple Colombian governments in 1964, and more than 220,000 people have been killed. The rebels used drug trafficking and kidnappings for ransom to fund their war.

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