Colombian rebels to release 3 hostages



-- A Colombian rebel group is expected to release three hostages Sunday -- one more than previously announced -- according to a former senator who helped coordinate the humanitarian mission to free them.

"Tomorrow we will hug not 2, but 3 in the releases," former Sen. Piedad Cordoba posted on her Twitter account Saturday.

In December, the FARC leftist guerrilla group pledged to release five hostages as a humanitarian gesture. Three of them were released last week, and two others had been scheduled to be released Sunday before Cordoba's announcement.

Police officer Carlos Alberto Ocampo Perez will be among the freed hostages, she said. A police major and a military service member are also expected to be released Sunday.

Some have suggested the hostage releases could fuel renewed negotiations between Colombia's government and the rebels.

One of the freed hostages called for dialogue between the government and insurgents.

"Humanitarian exchange is the first step toward a friendly understanding, which permits the return of our brothers deprived of their liberty," politician Armando Acuna said after his release.

But Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has sharply criticized the FARC, or Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, over the last week, accusing the group of having a "double standard" and creating an "absurd media show" in order to draw sympathy to their cause.

On Thursday, he said he was tempted to call off the rescue mission after learning that two workers from the Carton de Colombia company had been kidnapped in southwestern Colombia on Wednesday night.

On Saturday, Santos said the releases were becoming an "absurd media show," CNN affiliate Caracol reported.

"Everything is prepared. There is very little humanitarian about this," Santos said.

"They are so crass that they are doing it this way, as if the community and the world do not notice," he said, according to Caracol.