Colombia

Colombian rebels say 11 lawmaker hostages killed

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BOGOTA, June 28 (Reuters) - Left-wing Colombian rebels said on Thursday that 11 provincial lawmakers kidnapped in 2002 were killed last week in the crossfire of a military rescue attempt.

Twelve hostages were taken by the 17,000-member Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, Valle del Cauca's capitol building in a raid that shocked this Andean country.

"Eleven deputies of the Valle assembly who we took in April 2002 died in the crossfire when an unidentified military group attacked the camp where they were," a statement issued by the FARC said. It said the raid ocurred June 18.

The government said it did not know the location of the 12 hostages and did not know of any attempt to rescue them.

Colombia is in a 4-decade-old guerrilla war in which thousands are killed and tens of thousands are forced from their homes by violence each year.

Reuters - Thomson Reuters Foundation
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