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Colombian rebels release Sutay

Oct. 27, 2013 at 10:12 PM   |   Comments

BOGOTA, Oct. 27 (UPI) -- Colombian rebels have released U.S. citizen Kevin Scott Sutay, who had been held since June 20, the International Committee of the Red Cross announced Sunday.

The ICRC, which facilitated the release, said in a statement the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia - People's Army released Sutay, 27, to the custody of representatives from the governments of Colombia, Cuba and Norway and ICEC delegates.

"We welcome the release today of Kevin Scott Sutay from captivity at the hands of the FARC," U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement released by the State Department. "The United States is profoundly grateful to the Government of Colombia and commends its tireless efforts to secure his release. We offer special thanks to President Juan Manuel Santos for his assistance.

"We also appreciate the contributions of the International Committee of the Red Cross, and the Governments of Norway and Cuba in securing Mr. Sutay's freedom. And we thank the Rev. Jesse Jackson for his efforts in consistently advocating for Mr. Sutay's release."

Sutay, who served in Afghanistan as an explosives specialist with the U.S. Navy, was expected to be taken to the U.S. Embassy in Bogota Sunday, where he was to undergo a physical examination before returning to the United States, the Los Angeles Times said.

An ICRC doctor said Sutay is in good enough physical condition to travel.

The ICRC, based in Geneva, Switzerland, said it has facilitated the release of 19 people held by armed groups in Colombia this year and has helped free more than 1,500 captives since 1994.

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