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23 oil workers kidnapped in Colombia

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • The victims work for Canada-based Talisman Energy
  • Troops from the Colombian military have been sent to look for them
  • Colombia's army says it appears members of the FARC guerrilla group are responsible

(CNN) -- Armed men kidnapped 23 oil workers in eastern Colombia Monday, the country's army said in a statement.

Authorities said it appeared those responsible were members of the FARC leftist guerrilla group.

Troops have been sent to look for the victims, who work for Canada-based Talisman Energy, the army said.

"Rejecting the terrorist act, the commander of the army has deployed the troops and necessary resources that permit the safe return of the kidnapped to their homes," the statement said.

Spokesmen for Talisman said the victims were employees working for a contractor and not direct employees of the company, CNN affiliate Caracol reported.

The FARC, or Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia, have been at war with the Colombian government since the 1960s.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos issued a new warning to the group last week, according to a statement released by his office.

"I say this to the members of the FARC who still think that they are going to achieve something through weapons, I say that the only future that is left for them if they continue with the violence will be a tomb or a jail," he said.