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Germany

European Hostages Released in Colombia

Marxist rebels in Colombia on Monday released two European hostages, including a German backpacker, who had been held for more than two months. The National Liberation Army (ELN) rebels also promised to release a Briton and four Israeli citizens before Christmas, according to a Roman Catholic priest who said he has spoken to the group. Guerilla rebels kidnapped the tourists on Sept. 12 near jungle ruins in northern Colombia. The two European backpackers were handed over to a humanitarian commission and taken by a Red Cross helicopter to the northern Colombian city of Valledupar. Twenty-four-year old Reinhilt Weigel of Lower Saxony and Spanish backpacker Asier Huegen are reported to be in good health. The others are still being held hostage. The tourists had ignored travel warnings for Colombia, which bears the ill-boded title 'world's kidnapping capital.'