Colombia's rebels ready to release three captives
Bogota, Feb 12 : The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrilla group hs announced the imminent release of two police officers and a soldier captured in January.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said the FARC was waiting for the Colombian government to "promote as soon as possible" the conditions for the release, reported Xinhua.
Cited by Colombian daily El Tiempo, FARC leader Rodrigo Granda confirmed that the release process has already begun.
The release "is going forward and it is certain that in the coming hours or days there will be news about it", said Granda.
Policemen Cristian Yate and Victor Gonzalez, together with soldier Josue Meneses, have been held by the FARC since January, when they were captured in military operations in combat zones.
Granda insisted their capture "is not a kidnapping. What we have are prisoners of war held by the FARC, who fell during a military operation in a war zone".
The FARC leader also said the rebels were ready to release them, but "we are waiting for the ICRC and Colombians for Peace to be present".
Granda said they have already selected the site of the release and are just waiting for the ICRC and government to coordinate so as not to endanger the life of the policemen and soldier, or the people who will take part in the release process.
Colombia's Deputy Defense Minister Jorge Enrique Bedoya said Monday the release protocols have been agreed.
"It's simple, if the FARC wants to release the 'kidnapped' officers, they only have to say when and where. We only have to know where to cease military operations so the release operation can take place," he said.