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Colombian gov't accuses FARC of kidnapping freed Chinese nationals


13:50, November 23, 2012

BOGOTA, Nov. 22 (Xinhua) -- The Colombian government Thursday accused the rebel Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) of having kidnapped the just-released four Chinese nationals.

The Colombian authorities said there was no doubt that the FARC was behind the kidnapping of the Chinese citizens - three oil company engineers and their translator.

The release of the Chinese, who were kidnapped 17 months ago in a rebel stronghold in southern Colombia, on Wednesday showed the FARC was lying again to the international community, Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon said.

The rebels announced in February that they were halting all kidnapping and insist they hold no more captives, neither "political prisoners" nor "economic" hostages.

Pinzon accused the FARC of being "mendacious and traitorous," saying "they have no respect for the Colombian people or the international community, who they compulsively deceive." He urged the rebel group to release the rest of the hostages.

The four hostages were turned over Wednesday night to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) by "unidentified men" dressed in civilian clothes, said the ICRC delegation in Colombia.

The rebels and the government are in the midst of peace talks to end five decades of armed conflict that has claimed about 200,000 lives in Colombia, displaced many more and caused millions in material losses.

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