Colombian rebel group says it has freed Colombian soldier captured in mid-December

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HAVANA — Latin America's oldest and strongest rebel group says it has freed a soldier who was captured earlier this month.

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia issued a statement Friday saying it had released Carlos Becerra Ojeda. The statement said Becerra was handed over to representatives of the International Red Cross and Cuba and Norway, two countries that have hosted peace talks between the rebels and the government since they began in the fall of 2012.

The rebels announced a unilateral cease-fire last week as a goodwill gesture, but the government has rejected a bilateral truce to the more-than-50-year-old conflict, saying it could help the rebels regroup after a decade of heavy battlefield losses.

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