Colombia rebels blame 'betrayal'

Farc criticises "despicable conduct" of two guards seizeded during hostage release.

    Betancourt was among 15 hostages freed in last week's military operation [AFP]

    The Farc statement, which was dated July 5 and signed by the organisation's secretariat, also rejected reports the group was crumbling from within.
    It said the rescue was just an incident inherent to "any political and military confrontation where there are victories and reversals".

    Cesar and Enrique are among 11 suspects indicted in Washington in September on charges of conspiracy to provide support to a foreign terrorist organisation.

    The two also face charges of hostage-taking and terrorism and the US is seeking their extradition.

    'Reckless decision'

    Military intelligence agents freed the hostages by posing as aid workers on a mock humanitarian mission that the rebels were told would ferry their hostages by helicopter to another camp for talks on a prisoner swap.

    "By insisting in rescues as the only path, the government should assume all the consequences of its reckless and adventurous decision," the Farc said in the statement.

    Colombia's government says that FARC still holds about 700 hostages. It had offered to swap 25 high-value captives for imprisoned fighters, but the July 2 rescue robbed them of their most notable bargaining chips.

    Mauricio Lizcano, a Colombian congressman and son of rebel-held hostage Oscar Tulio Lizcano, saw the Farc statement as a positive development.

    "The Farc maintain a willingness to reach a humanitarian accord," he said.

    "It looks like the Farc will not retaliate against those who are still kidnapped."

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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