BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Colombian soldiers have rescued a group of fishermen who were abducted by rebels from the National Liberation Army, or ELN.
President Juan Manuel Santos announced the rescue Sunday and congratulated the army. He said on Twitter that authorities are now pursuing those responsible for the kidnapping, but without giving more details.
Colombian media have reported that the ELN targeted the 18 fishermen for violating a rebel ban on fishing in Bolivar state. They were confirmed kidnapped on Saturday.
The ELN has recently held exploratory peace talks with the government. The much larger Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, has been in formal talks for three years.