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Colombian hostages freed from FARC
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French-Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt (R) kisses her mother Yolanda Pulecio after her arrival at Catam military airport in Bogota July 2, 2008.(Xinhua/AFP Photo)

Betancourt, who was captured in February 2002 during a presidential campaign, said her rescue by the Colombian army "is a peace signal for Colombia".

"This is a miracle," the beaming Betancourt said Wednesday after arriving at a military airport in Bogota.

"Thank you Colombia. Thank you France," she said. The 46-year-old Betancourt also has a French nationality and the French government has been campaigning hard to release her.

There had been mounting fears for Betancourt's health following the release of a video showing the once vibrant woman looking thin and frail after being held by the FARC in the jungle of southern Colombia.

Colombian Foreign Minister Fernando Araujo, who managed to escape in 2006 after being held captive for six years by the FARC, was thrilled by the release of the 15 hostages.

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