Betancourt reunited with her children at last

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It was an emotional moment for freed hostage Ingrid Betancourt after seeing her family for the first time in six years in Bogota.

4 July 2008

BOGOTA - Freed Colombian hostage Ingrid Betancourt was reunited Thursday with her family after six years of captivity after they flew to Bogota from France with French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner.

Visibly emotional, Betancourt climbed the stairs to greet her family as the door to their plane opened at 8:26 am (1326 GMT). There she tearfully welcomed her children, Melanie and Lorenzo Delloye, her sister Astrid and her former husband Fabrice Delloye.

"I think it was an orgy of kisses," she told reporters gathered on the tarmac. "I wanted to feel them, touch them, look at them... They are so beautiful. I think they are beautiful."

Melanie Delloye, 22, called the reunion the "strongest and most beautiful moment of our life - to see our mother, so beautiful - finally."

Delloye praised Wednesday’s rescue operation.

"We were against the military operation because we feared there would be blood," she said. "This was not a military operation, this was an intelligence operation and that's different."

She urged Colombia and the international community to keep working to free all the FARC-held hostages now that her mother, the highest-profile captive, has been freed.

"We need to keep fighting so this moment will come for everyone," Delloye said.

[AFP / Expatica]

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