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Colombian rebels free two captives after weekend delay

Brazilian soldiers pose in front of a helicopter at the start of the airborne operation to pick up the councilman of San Jose del Guaviare, Marcos Vaquero --abducted by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas in June 2009--, on February 9, 2011, in Villavicencio, Meta department, Colombia. Two Brazilian military helicopters bearing Red Cross markings are being used to fly out five hostages set for release by the Marxist rebels.


Colombian rebels have released to the International Red Cross the last two captives of a batch of six after a confusing weekend delay that bred ill will.

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia freed on Wednesday a 35-year-old police major seized in 2007 and an army corporal captured in 2008. A loaned Brazilian helicopter flew them to the western city of Cali.

The latest series of unilateral liberations brokered by former Sen. Piedad Cordoba began one week ago.

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On Sunday, no one was waiting at the co-ordinates that rebels gave Cordoba.

That encouraged speculation that the guerrillas might have flaunted the military's cessation of operations in the area to move forces - and possibly even their commander, Alfonso Cano.

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