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| 6/15/2010 12:00:00 AM

3 Men Rescued From Colombian Guerrillas

June 15--Colombian soldiers stalking leftist guerrillas in the country’s remote jungles have rescued three hostages held by the rebels, including a police general who was their highest-ranking captive, Colombian officials said Sunday.

The rescue carried out by about 300 military personnel in Guaviare, a sparsely populated region in southern Colombia, freed Gen. Luis Mendieta, captured by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, in 1998, as well as Col. Luis Murillo, who had also been held by the rebels since that year, and Sgt. Arbey Delgado, captured in 1998.

The rescue of the three men is a new blow to the guerrillas, invoking the daring 2008 operation that freed Ingrid Betancourt, a former presidential candidate, in addition to three American captives and 11 others held by the FARC. The weakened but resilient rebel group has been waging an insurgency since the 1960s.

Colombian officials said the operation, code-named Chameleon, had been put into motion after six months of planning and did not involve assistance from the United States, the top provider of military aid to Colombia. The officials emphasized that the men had been freed but were still in the hands of security forces in a combat zone.
 
Read more here.
 
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