Latin America & Caribbean

Colombia kidnapping: Spanish tourists freed by police

Two kidnapped Spanish tourists have been rescued by police in Colombia, while two people suspected of trying to collect a ransom have been held in Spain.

Spain's interior ministry said two officers from its kidnapping unit had travelled to Colombia and taken part in the release of the tourists.

It is not known whether anyone was arrested in Colombia.

It is unclear who was responsible for the kidnapping.

The Spanish interior ministry said it was ruling out Colombia's main rebel group, Farc, amid indications that a criminal gang was behind the crime.

The ministry said that a Syrian national and a Spanish citizen had been arrested in Madrid.

Spanish radio network Cadena SER reported that one of Spain's leading judges identified the freed tourists as one of his relatives, Maria Concepcion Marlaska, 43, and Angel Sanchez Hernandez, 49.

The two, from the northern city of Aviles, were kidnapped last month in the province of La Guajira as they drove towards a tourist attraction near the Venezuelan border.

They were in good health, National Court Judge Fernando Grande Marlaska told the radio station.

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