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Colombian troops free 3 hostages

BOGOTA, Colombia - Soldiers on Sunday freed two high-ranking police officers and an army sergeant who were among Colombia's longest-held rebel captives in a raid in southern jungles, President Alvaro Uribe announced.

Gen. Luis Mendieta and Col. Enrique Murillo were captured by the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, in the November 1998 siege of the remote eastern provincial capital of Mitu. Sgt. Arbey Delgado was taken in August 1998.

Mendieta turned 53 on Sunday. Gen. Javier Florez said the rescue was carried out in the southeastern province of Guaviare. "They are not wounded," he said.

In July 2008, soldiers posing as members of a humanitarian mission freed former presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt, three U.S. contractors, and 11 police and military officials held by the FARC. - AP

In Egypt, harsh end to a protest

CAIRO - Security forces hit protesters, knocked some to the ground, and rounded up dozens at a rally in Egypt's capital Sunday held to protest a police beating in which a man died a week ago.

The protesters were angry over the death of 28-year-old Khaled Said in the port city of Alexandria on June 6. Relatives, at least one witness, and human-rights groups said police beat him to death. Pictures of his disfigured face have been circulating on the Internet.

The Egyptian government said he was a drug user who choked to death on a joint as police tried to arrest him. Reformers and rights groups say cases of police brutality rarely result in punishment.

Security forces moved in as about 200 protesters gathered near the Ministry of Justice, chanting and holding up signs calling for an end to Hosni Mubarak's long authoritarian rule. - AP

Swiss cash ends row with Libya

GENEVA - Libya said Sunday that Switzerland paid $1.5 million for mistreating Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's son during his arrest there in 2008, and a Swiss citizen who had been held in Tripoli left for home as the countries ended a two-year diplomatic row.

The two nations struck a deal to end a dispute that began with the two-day detention of Hannibal Gadhafi and his wife for allegedly beating servants in a Swiss hotel.

Libya's protests quickly escalated, and in February the Libyan leader called on Muslims to wage holy war against Switzerland. Libya also arrested two Swiss businessmen and tried them on charges of violating residency laws and operating a business illegally. One was freed earlier.

Libyan Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa said Switzerland paid Hannibal Gadhafi $1.5 million in compensation.

- AP


For a second year, organizers of a $5 million annual prize for good governance in Africa said they would not give out the award, saying there were no new candidates. Only democratically elected heads of state who have voluntarily left office in the previous three years are eligible for the Mo Ibrahim Foundation prize.