Originally published on Mon February 27, 2012 1:05 pm
The rebel group that has made kidnapping a central part of its operating procedure in Colombia says it is halting the practice and releasing 10 security force members it has held for as long as 14 years.
"From this day on we are halting the practice in our revolutionary activity," the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) said in a statement released on its website.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos issued a cautious message on Twitter.
History never repeats itself exactly. But the current escalation in tension and rhetoric between the United States and Iran has revived memories of the Persian Gulf tanker war of the 1980s.
As an offshoot of the war taking place back then between Iran and Iraq, the U.S. offered protection to Kuwaiti ships carrying oil through the Straits of Hormuz. This led to attacks on multiple military and civilian ships. In addition, the U.S. Navy in 1988 shot down an Iranian airliner that was mistaken for a jet fighter.
After an engine room fire, the Costa Allegra is adrift in the Indian ocean. The Allegra is owned by Costa Concordia, the same company that owns the cruise ship that ran aground off the coast of Italy and killed 25 people and left seven missing.
The AP reports the Costa Allegra is adrift in the area of the Indian Ocean where Somali pirates have been active.