Colombian rebels suspend handover of journalists' bodies

Source: Xinhua| 2018-04-17 11:16:36|Editor: Yurou
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BOGOTA, April 16 (Xinhua) -- A Colombian rebel group which killed three Ecuadorian journalists suspended Monday the deal to hand over the bodies to the authorities.

The Oliver Sinisterra Front, a dissident faction formerly attached to current defunct Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrilla group, said the journalists died during "a failed" rescue attempt by the Ecuadorian authorities.

"We have taken the unanimous decision to suspend any type of humanitarian activity related to the delivery of the bodies of the journalists. At no time have there been guarantees about the movement of our members, or about the security for the members of the humanitarian mission," the group said in a statement without giving details on the journalists' death.

On March 26, a team of Ecuadorian journalists was captured by the rebels in the Ecuadorian province of Esmeraldas.

On Sunday, some source said the bodies of the kidnapped journalists were in Colombian territory.

Walter Patricio Artizala, alias Guacho, who is said to lead the FARC remnants in southwestern Colombia, was blamed for the abduction. Their rebellion operation are reportedly along the Ecuador and Colombia borders.

In response to growing violence along the border, Ecuador and Colombia's ministers of foreign affairs, defense and the interior met on Monday in Quito, Ecuador, to coordinate actions.

Ecuador's Interior Minister Cesar Navas told journalists at the meeting, "We will see what other actions need to be complemented to seek the integral development of the border area."

As to the return of the journalists' bodies, the minister said "a process is under way", adding that the International Red Cross is handling the matter.