World News

Colombia's FARC rebels free soldier captured while vacationing

BOGOTA (Reuters) - Colombia’s FARC rebels released a soldier, who was captured while he was on vacation in the country’s southern jungles, the International Committee of the Red Cross said on Wednesday, an incident that violated the group’s unilateral ceasefire.

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) freed Jesus Rojas in Caqueta province, where he was kidnapped 14 days ago while visiting family. The Marxist guerrilla group had accused him of spying.

The Colombian government and the FARC have been engaged since late 2012 in peace talks taking place in Cuba aimed at ending a five-decade war that has killed more than 220,000 people and displaced millions.

President Juan Manuel Santos has said he wants a peace accord signed by March 23, and has shown willingness to call a bilateral ceasefire as soon as this year.

Reporting by Helen Murphy; Editing by Diane Craft