Colombia's embattled FARC guerrillas handed over four political hostages, with two more captives set to be released later this week.
The ex-hostages who had been held since 2007 were freed in apparently good health, while the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia said one rebel was killed and another reported missing after the operation to release the captives.
The four men -- part of a group of six hostages the Marxist rebels have promised to free by Wednesday -- were to travel to Bogota late Sunday for medical checkups.
Jairo Martinez, a FARC commander, told Telesur that one guerrilla had been killed and another was reported missing and possibly captured near the area where the hostages were handed over.
The Colombian government denied the accusations as "unfounded."
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) had previously secured a commitment from the country's defense minister to halt military operations in Caqueta province, paving the way for the humanitarian mission.
The FARC announced this week's releases on Dec. 21 in response to a plea from Colombian intellectuals.
Last Mod: 02 Şubat 2009, 14:08