Colombian Army rescues woman that rebels had chained to a tree

Other News Materials 10 June 2008 21:24 (UTC +04:00)

Colombian authorities rescued a woman who had been chained to a tree, allegedly by leftist rebels who kidnapped her a week earlier, Colombian media reported Tuesday citing military officials, the dpa reported.

General Jaime Esguerra, commander of the Army's Third Brigade, said members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) abandoned the woman with no food or water three days before she was found on Monday.

"We can see the degradation of FARC, how they tie a person to a tree and have them there in the sun and the rain for several days," Esguerra said. "They gave her no food and the person had to urinate and defecate on the same spot. That is how we found her: tied to a tree trunk and totally dehydrated."

After she was freed, the woman could not stand up by herself and had to be carried by soldiers to the nearest road. From there, she was taken to a hospital in the south-western Colombian city of Cali, where she was kidnapped last week.

FARC are believed to hold more than 700 hostages. Of these some 40 are considered politically-relevant, and the group wants to exchange them for hundreds of imprisoned rebels.