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U.S. urges release of hostages by Colombian rebels
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09:01, February 14, 2008

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The United States urged on Wednesday the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) to free immediately all hostages, including five Americans, it holds.

"Today marks the fifth anniversary of the kidnapping of Marc Gonsalves, Thomas Howes, and Keith Stansell by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), a Foreign Terrorist Organization designated by US law," said State Department spokesman Scott McCormack.

"The United States calls on the FARC to immediately release all hostages so they may be returned safely to their families," McCormack said, noting Washington "firmly supports the Government of Colombia in its efforts to achieve the safe recovery of all of the hostages, some of whom have now been held for ten years."

The FARC, accused of drug trafficking and holding some 750 people hostage in its jungle hideouts, is classified as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union and the Colombian government.

The FARC has been fighting the Bogota government since the 1960s.  

Source: Xinhua

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