Luis Diaz's Kidnapped Dad Regains Freedom From Guerilla Group

By Chimezie Nebolisa

Colombia's ELN guerrilla group has freed the father of Liverpool footballer Luis Diaz, 12 days after kidnapping him.

After being handed over by the rebels to a humanitarian mission, Luis Manuel Diaz arrived by helicopter in the northeastern city of Valledupar, some 90 kilometres from his hometown of Barrancas where he was abducted with his wife on 28 October. She was rescued the same day.

The Bishops Conference of Colombia, involved in negotiating the handover, released a photograph of Diaz in a wooded area with a woman taking his vital signs.

The 26-year-old winger's father and mother Cilenis Marulanda were abducted by armed men on motorcycles at a gas station in their home town.

Marulanda was rescued hours later and a massive search operation by ground and air was launched for her husband, with more than 250 soldiers involved.

The ELN, which is in peace negotiations with Colombiagovernment, later acknowledged one of its units was behind the kidnapping, which it described as a "mistake."