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Four released Chinese citizens fly back to China


15:03, November 24, 2012

Two of the four Chinese oil workers who were released by members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrilla group, arrive at El Dorado International Airport, in Bogota, Colombia, on Nov. 23, 2012. The four Chinese who were released around midnight Wednesday to the International Red Cross, took the AF423 flight which will make a stop in Paris and then fly to China. (Xinhua/Hou Xiwen)

BOGOTA, Nov. 23 (Xinhua) -- Four Chinese hostages recently released in Colombia flied back to China Friday to reunite with their families after 17 months of captivity.

Without any statement to the press, the three Chinese oil company engineers and their translator looked excited before boarding the Air France AF423 flight, which left Bogota around 6:30 pm (1030 GMT).

The Chinese citizens were abducted on June 8, 2011 in southern Colombia and turned over Wednesday night to the International Committee of the Red Cross by "unidentified men" in civilian clothes. The Colombian government said the rebel Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) was behind the kidnapping.

Chinese Ambassador to Colombia Wang Xiaoyuan came to see them off at the airport and told Xinhua that the Chinese government is very pleased with their return.

"We are very happy to see the return of the four Chinese to China. The

medical examinations went ok except that one of them needs a wheelchair

due to a problem on the leg," Wang said.

The ambassador thanked the Colombian government, El Dorado airport and immigration authorities for facilitating the return.

"We are grateful to the Colombian government, the airport authorities and the institutions that have offered all facilities to our compatriots for their return to China as soon as possible," Wang said.

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