Colombian soldiers have rescued a group of 15 fishermen, abducted by rebels from the National Liberation Army, or ELN, after being found fishing in a area under rebel ban in the country’s Bolívar department.
President Juan Manuel Santos announced the rescue Sunday and congratulated the army. The President tweeted that Colombian authorities are now pursuing those responsible for the kidnapping, but without giving more details.
Rescatados pescadores que tenía retenido ELN, por supuesto castigo. Felicitaciones @COL_EJERCITO, ahora a perseguir responsables.
— Juan Manuel Santos (@JuanManSantos) January 17, 2016
Around 160 soldiers and six helicopters were involved in the rescue mission, daily El Heraldo reported.
The ELN has held exploratory peace talks with the government, with an aim to formalizing negotiations this year. Ecuadorean capital, Quito, is a proposed setting for the talks.