Colombia OK's Venezuela rescue effort

Jan. 9, 2008 at 11:33 PM

BOGOTA, Jan. 9 (UPI) -- Colombia has approved a new offer by Venezuela to pick up two hostages taken by leftist rebels, it was reported Wednesday.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said he had received word from rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, about the whereabouts of the hostages, El Tiempo newspaper reported online.

The decision by Colombia is an about-face for the South American country, which this week had said Venezuela's previous failed effort to secure the hostages' release showed other nations are not familiar with the ongoing battle between the government and FARC.

Venezuela has played an integral role in trying to recover the hostages -- including Clara Rojas, a one-time aide to fellow detainee, Ingrid Betancourt, who was running for Colombia's presidency at the time of her capture in 2002.

FARC rebels have been battling the Colombian government for more than 40 years.

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