Colombia’s largest rebel group FARC has executed four or five members of the security forces in a botched attempt to rescue the men, the country’s defense minister announced Saturday.
Confirmed names of executed FARC hostages
During a press conference, Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon said the FARC executed the hostages in Curillo, a municipality in the southern Caqueta department.
The minister said it was still not established whether the FARC killed four or five hostages.
The killed hostages spent more than twelve years in guerrilla captivity.
Colombian peace groups and families of hostage have criticized the armed attempts to rescue captives and have called for negotiated releases.
The FARC have killed at least ten hostages in previous military rescue attempts.
Before Saturday, the FARC held 21 members of Colombia’s security forces in captivity. The guerrilla group also holds civilians hostage for extortion purposes, but estimates on how many differ.