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Colombia's rebel group releases two pilots

(Xinhua)

14:42, July 30, 2012

BOGOTA, July 29 (Xinhua) -- The rebel Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) Sunday released two civilian helicopter pilots kidnapped 20 days ago, said the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

Juan Carlos Alvarez and Alejandro de Jesus Ocampo were set free and handed over to representatives of the ICRC and a local non-governmental organization in a rural area of Argelia municipality in southwest Cauca province, the ICRC said in a statement.

Both Alvarez and Ocambo were kidnapped by the guerrillas on July 10, after their helicopter made emergency landing due to a mechanical failure. The helicopter was burned by FARC members.

"In this case, we participated (in the release) because the armed group asked us for help," said Jordi Raich, the ICRC representative in Colombia.

"We are pleased to have been able to make it possible for these people to be back with their loved ones," added Raich, who did not give any more details about the release.

Last Wednesday, the FARC group issued a statement asking for ICRC and non-governmental organization representatives to help with the release of the two pilots.

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