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Pope denounces terrorism after Colombia hostage deaths

Pope John Paul II has once more condemned terrorism and the use of violence for political purposes after 10 hostages were killed in Colombia.

In a telegram on Tuesday, the pope condemned Monday's "abominable attack" that led to the deaths of a provincial governor and a former Colombian defence minister held hostage for more than a year, as well as eight soldiers held hostage, some for as long as four years.

The hostages, held by the rebel movement known by the Spanish acronym FARC, were killed during a rescue attempt by the Colombian army.

The Colombian government and the three hostages who survived said the rebels shot the 10 men and fled when the rescue mission began.

Rebel leaders, in an e-mailed statement, claimed the 10 were victims of cross fire during the rescue attempt.

Catholic News Service

John Paul II Grieves for 10 Hostages Killed in Colombia (Zenit)
Failed hostage rescue raises worries (Miami Herald)
Colombia reeling after 10 hostages killed in botched rescue (Japan Today)

8 May 2003