BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) - Colombian authorities say suspected leftist rebels have released 22 of 23 Colombian contractors abducted while doing exploratory work in a remote jungle region for the Canadian oil company Talisman.
Defense Minister Rodrigo Rivera says one contractor remains captive.
He told reporters the men were freed early Tuesday. He says their captors were unable to evade troops sent to rescue the contractors after their abduction Monday in the eastern province of Vichada.
The men were looking for crude in Cumaribo region.
Talisman says all of the contractors work for South American exploration, a firm that does seismic and other studies in Colombia, Peru and Bolivia.
Last year, Talisman bought 49 percent of British Petroleum's interests in Colombia.
(COPYRIGHT 2011 BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.)