Colombian rebels release 11 kidnapped oil workers

March 7, 2012 9:04 am 

BOGOTA, March 7 — Colombian guerrillas Tuesday released 11 oil company workers kidnapped in February, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) announced.

The ICRC said in a communique that the 11 employees, believed to have been nabbed by members of Colombia's National Liberation Army (ELN) last month, were handed over to humanitarian workers in the eastern province of Arauca.

The "11 employees of the Casanare Avanzada Consortium were handed over in a rural area of Arauca" to a humanitarian group comprised of Red Cross workers, and representatives of the Catholic Church and defense forces, the ICRC said.

On Feb. 28, rebels captured the employees of a bus transporting company working on the so-called Bicentennial pipeline.

According to the Red Cross communique, the workers were kidnapped by the Domingo Lain front, an arm of the ELN whose members oversaw the victims' release by land.

The employees, including a woman, according to some press reports, were taken to Tame, in Arauca, where they will be reunited with their families, which had been demanding their release.

The identities of the kidnappers remains unknown.

Meanwhile, Colombian Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon said that army troops were looking for the missing in the region that shares a border with Venezuela, and where the guerrilla group is known to be active. (PNA/Xinhua)

DCT/ebp

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