President Alvaro Uribe’s policies towards Colombia’s largest rebel group face increased scrutiny after 10 of the rebels’ hostages died in a failed rescue attempt by the army. There was widespread public outrage on Tuesday at the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc), who appeared to have sanctioned the hostages’ execution as government troops closed in on Monday on a guerrilla camp in remote jungle. The deaths provoked international condemnation. But the frightened relatives of other Farc hostages stepped up their calls for Mr Uribe to broker their release through an exchange agreement with the rebels, which could also see hundreds of jailed Farc members freed from prison. Relatives also demanded that the government did not make any more attempts to rescue hostages through military operations. The Farc has kidnapped dozens of politicians, police officers and soldiers, and also holds three US citizens who were on a mission for the Pentagon when their aircraft crashed in February in Farc-held territory. A prisoner exchange is a long- standing goal of Manuel Marulanda, the Farc’s leader. Full Story
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