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Swiss participate in Colombia hostage mission

France, Spain and Switzerland have launched a new relief effort to help ailing hostages held in Colombia by leftwing rebels.

The foreign ministry said it was taking part in a humanitarian mission and was liaising with the authorities concerned.

It said no further details could be revealed “in view of the circumstances”.

Switzerland was involved in the release two women hostages in January.

The statement came a day after French President Nicolas Sarkozy announced a mission to win access to rebels, including former Colombian presidential candidate, Ingrid Betancourt, would get underway swiftly.

Betancourt, a French-Colombian dual national, is among an estimated 750 hostages held captive by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc) for years.

The rebels are trying to force the government to release jailed militants in Columbia.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR