Chavez: Rebels say military ops preventing hostage handover

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December 31, 2007 22:26

President Hugo Chavez said he received a message from Colombian rebels Monday saying Colombia's military operations are preventing them from freeing three hostages. Speaking on state television, Chavez said the rebels wrote in a letter that "the military operational attempts in the zone impede us for now from turning over" the three hostages, including a mother and her young son. Venezuelan helicopters have been waiting since Friday in Colombia for word from the guerrillas on the where the hostages could be picked up. Colombian officials have denied interfering in the airlift mission, and Colombia's top peace envoy blamed the delays on the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC.


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