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New talks on Colombia hostages

Colombian government officials and leftist guerrillas, who are holding 27 hostages in the Dominican Republic's Bogota embassy, Tuesday opened the eighth round of talks aimed at ending the 35-day-old occupation. Negotiations are expected to continue at least two more weeks.

The M -- 19 urban guerrilla group is holding 11 ambassadors, including US Ambassador Diego Asencio, 2 charges d'affaires, and 14 other people seized in a raid on the embassy Feb. 27. Since seizing the embassy the guerrillas have released 28 hostages.

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The guerrillas originally demanded $50 million and the freeing of 311 leftist prisoners but later dropped the demand to $10 million and 70 prisoners.


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