Russian captive escapes from Colombia guerrillas

The Russian embassy had asked that he be freed, and orders had been given for his release in Colombia's Choco department, the rebels said.

Russian captive escapes from Colombia guerrillas

World Bulletin / News Desk

A Russian-Armenian national has escaped from his guerrilla captors in Colombia after disarming a rebel and setting off a firefight that left six wounded, the leftist National Liberation Army (ELN) said Sunday.

The rebels were transferring Voskanya Arcen Levoni for release in Colombia's Choco Department when he took matters into his own hands, the group said.

"Mr Voskanya Arcen Levoni disarmed a comrade and attacked the unit that was transferring him, resulting in five ELN comrades seriously wounded, and the Russo-Armenian fled, also wounded," the statement said.

Levoni's whereabouts were unknown, it said.

The ELN said Levoni was captured in November while collecting poisonous frogs for sale in international markets.

But Levoni made his escape before final arrangements could be made to hand him over to the International Committee of the Red Cross, the ELN said.

"The ELN units withdrew with their wounded and have no knowledge of the situation of the man they were transferring to be released," it said.

Although Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos has urged the ELN to end kidnapping for ransom, he opened a first round of peace talks with the group in February.

Those talks concluded on April 6 with an agreement to launch a pilot de-mining program.

The ELN is the last leftist guerrilla group active in Colombia, following a peace agreement in November between the government and the larger Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 24 Nisan 2017, 10:42
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