Colombian rebel group FARC has released 10 non-civilian hostages, after keeping them in captivity for a period of 14 years. The 10 victims, four soldiers and six policemen, were released on Monday in a unilateral gesture of peace by FARC, which until recently had resorted to kidnapping and drug trafficking to fund their revolt against the Colombian government.
All the 10 hostages were picked up by Red Cross rescue group from a disclosed location and flown to the Villavicencio airport. The victims wearing olive fatigues appeared cheerful and one of them even danced draping the Colombian flag around him, according to a Reuters report.
One of the men had a pig with him, while another had a monkey on his shoulders. The hostages looked happy and were seen having an animated conversation with the Red Cross medics.
All victims endured inhumane conditions and were kept in makeshift cells in the Colombian jungles by rebels.
President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia said in a televised speech that I send a salute of freedom to the hostages, freedom that has been a long time coming. It is yours now.
Santos said he valued FARC's peace gesture. However, he said the rebels should release all the other civilian hostages who were thought to be held captive by them.