BREAKING: Ingrid Betancourt Is Free!


BLOOMBERG NEWS: Colombian troops freed French-Colombian hostage Ingrid Betancourt and three U.S. citizens held by the country’s biggest guerrilla group, Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos said. ”They are healthy and free,” Santos told reporters in Bogota today. ”This is unprecedented, and will pass into history.” Troops freed a total of 15 hostages, some held for more than 10 years by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, after infiltrating the group’s leadership, Santos said. Colombian agents convinced leaders of the FARC, as the rebel group is known, to put all the hostages in a single location, where they were retaken from the guerrillas. The ex-hostages are in a helicopter bound for the southeastern city of San Jose de Guaviare. Betancourt, a presidential candidate, was kidnapped during the 2002 campaign. Keith Stansell, Thomas Howes and Marc Gonsalves, American employees of Northrop Grumman Corp., were captured after their single-engine plane crashed on a drug surveillance mission in February 2003. The other 11 hostages are members of Colombia’s armed forces, Santos said. The FARC still holds more than 700 hostages. MORE

WASHINGTON POST: Mission ImPossible
NEW YORK TIMES: ‘Like A Movie Plot’
RELATED: The Kidnapping Of Ingrid Betancourt

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